French Quarter board chair Pendleton calls out Cantrell, NOPD for lack of urgency on crime in heavy tourist area

Pendleton calls administration approach to violence “nonchalant”
French Quarter
Photo credit Getty Images

Christian Pendleton, board chair of French Quarter Management District, said he’s disturbed by a perceived lack of urgency from Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration and the NOPD when it comes to violent crime in the city’s most heavily trafficked tourist area.

“There’s just this nonchalance to it,” Pendleton said. “‘You know, we’re working on a holistic approach…’ Ladies and gentlemen, people are being shot at an alarming clip, and this nonchalant attitude towards it is dumbfounding.

Pendleton, also the general manager of Brennan’s Restaurant, relayed his frustration to WWL Radio’s Tommy Tucker and said he’s not just being glib.

“That’s the way it comes across,” Pendleton said. “They might say, ‘That’s not fair,’ or ‘That’s a mischaracterization.’ I have a feeling that if I clapped my hands and made Tommy Tucker the mayor of New Orleans starting tomorrow, among your top five things would be sitting down with the chief of police saying, ‘I want a plan in 72 hours of how we’re going to [curb violence]. And when the chief says, ‘I’m gonna need more resources,’ the response is, ‘I’ll figure that out. You tell me what you need to knock this off.’ I don’t think that conversation has ever taken place. And the fact that it hasn’t… why?”

Pendleton said the problem stretches back further than the current administration.

“I think they’re stuck in a rut of trying to justify all of the resources that get pumped into the French Quarter,” Pendleton said. “But at the same time acknowledging that the city needs the tax dollars that are generated in the French Quarter.”

Non-fatal shootings are up 350% in the French Quarter over the past year and vehicle burglary is up nearly 300%, according to the New Orleans City Council's crime dashboard.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images