On Sunday, November 27, one person died and nine were wounded in the Bourbon Street shooting, according to Nola.com. The shooting erupted after a confrontation between two New Orleans visitors.
In June of 2014, 10 people were wounded in a similar shooting on Bourbon Street.
The shooting happened just after the conclusion of the 43rd annual Bayou Classic and a few days after the Thanksgiving Holiday. In a prepared statement, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said police were deployed for the last five days, and there were no serious reports until Sunday night.
Real estate Mogul Sidney Torres IV is critical of the city’s approach to public safety in the French Quarter. Torres told The New Orleans Advocate he developed a plan to utilize over 24 security check points through the French Quarter during special events.
Torres’ plan includes private security using mobile wand technology to find dangerous weapons. He added that similar technology is used in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Beale Street in Memphis.
However, this is not Torres’ first involvement in French Quarter security affairs.
In March of 2015, Torres launched the French Quarter Task Force, a team of officers in mobile vehicles that tackle crime in the French Quarter. According to the city of New Orleans, Torres initially funded the officers and vehicles in the 2015 private-public partnership with the city.
Torres also led the development of the French Quarter Task Force app which allowed residents to report crimes and to tip police officers on the go.
According to the FQ Task Force, the team through the use of its app, has reduced police response times to two minutes, and has led to a 45 percent drop in crime throughout the city.
In June 2016, Torres donated $100,000 to update the FQ Task Force Fleet with three new smart cars.
As of September 2016, Torres funded the Task Force program with over $500,000.
Thee French Quarter Task Force is now funded through the Convention and Visitor Bureau from the New Orleans Hotel self-assessment tax, according to the French Quarter Management District.
- Bourbon Street shooting: What we know Sunday night [Nola.com]
- Bourbon Street shooting leaves 10 wounded, 2 critically, tourism image scarred [Nola.com]
- After Bourbon Street mass shooting, Sidney Torres urges security checkpoints around French Quarter [The New Orleans Advocate]
- Mayor Landrieu, Law Enforcement, Business and Resident Leaders Announce Plan to Improve French Quarter Safety [City of New Orleans]
- For $100K, Sidney Torres fighting French Quarter crime again, this time with Smart cars, new app [The New Orleans Advocate]