It came as no surprise when the city of New Orleans announced the Louisiana State Police would no longer have troopers patrolling in the French Quarter.
Spokesperson for the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Rafael Goyeneche says the ‘sunset clause’ on the city’s contract with the State Police was known by Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s administration. However, he says, the decision to allow the contract to expire during a time when violent crime in the city is on the rise, is not a prudent one.
He say that contract was a good deal for the city.
“The ‘Quarter for a Quarter’ tax payed for the salaries of the 32 trooper in Troop N. All f the other costs were absorbed by the state,” said Goyeneche. “New Orleans was getting a deal for the use of those 32 troopers. They represented anywhere from eight to 12 extra bodies on the street dealing with crime in the French Quarter at any given time.”
Goyeneche is concerned that the city budget cuts and furloughs will have a negative impact on safety in French Quarter.
“So, not only are those troopers leaving but you will have 10 percent fewer police officers, not just for the French quarter but for the entire city,” said Goyeneche.
Goyeneche adds, “I don’t know if the police department is going to acknowledge it but their staffing in the French quarter was constructed around the fsct that there would be 8 to 10 troopers on the street to help out with some of that.”