State to assist New Orleans with crime problems
BATON ROUGE - Last week's shooting on Bourbon Street has the attention of state leaders who are working hard to come up with a plan to curb the Big Easy's crime problem.
This week, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu made a plea for federal and state help to fight crime. That includes money and manpower.
The extra help will be visible tonight.
"We start tonight with 25-30 troopers in those areas along with guys on patrol," State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson said.
One of the victims from the shooting on Sunday gave an interview to a newspaper in Australia. Amy Matthews was visiting the Big Easy when she caught a bullet on Bourbon Street.
"It shattered the top of my palate in four places and ripped my tongue," Matthews told The West Australian newspaper.
This weekend is the Essence Festival in New Orleans. Colonel Edmonson promised that the streets will be safe, and a more long term plan is in the works to help with crime fighting efforts between now and Labor Day. However, that plan is already drawing criticism from some lawmakers.
"They were cautious and before you make a permanent fix that costs a lot of money and is a big drain on the state, let us know what that plan is," Edmonson said.
The cost and burden to taxpayers is concerning for critics who believe New Orleans should be able to handle its crime problem.
"When you look at Katrina numbers, it was a million dollars per month," Edmonson said. "We had 100 additional troopers down there. That is something to think about because I have a budget to work with also."
As plans are in the works to keep the Crescent City safe, people like Matthews say this won't deter them from coming back.
"I can replace my teeth, and my mouth will heal," Matthews said.