After a recent string of big buys, and one attempted buy, you might not think that real estate Romeo Sidney Torres IV has time to do much else — but he's also pretty busy fighting crime in the French Quarter, because he's Batman. The New York Times had a big profile of Torres and his private crime-fighting enterprise this week.
The profile paints a picture of Torres' own Batmobile, his Esplanade Avenue mansion from which monitors a suite of iDevices for notifications from his app that residents can use to summon a private police patrol (because ''everyone in New Orleans knows that 911 is a lost cause," one resident says). The app is part of Torres' privatized French Quarter security squad that dispatches off-duty NOPD officers to crime scenes in Polaris Rangers; Torres says he's handling the problem of crime in New Orleans' main tourist district the same way he did trash.
A Polaris turned the corner within two minutes, or 26 minutes faster than the N.O.P.D.'s average response time for the district. At the sight of the flashing blue lights, the men put their guns away and scattered.''Crazy, right?'' Torres later said. ''I kind of felt like Bruce Wayne.''
Mayor Landrieu — Torres' competitor of sorts, as Landrieu oversees the actual police department — is critical of his venture, saying there is a lot more crime in much poorer neighborhoods that could use fast-appearing Polarises, but Torres' patrol has strangers thanking him in the streets. Torres recently handed over control of the patrol to Stephen Perry, president of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau — perhaps so he can move on to the next thing because Sidney Torres has. no. chill.