Project NOLA Seeks Donations to Pay for Security Camera System

The nonprofit group has started a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the cost of beefing up its crime-fighting camera system.

NEW ORLEANS – Project NOLA, the nonprofit group that funds a community security camera system here, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $60,000.

“Realistically, we need $120,000, which is not a lot, compared to other cities like New York,” Director of Project NOLA Bryan Lagarde told WGNO, adding that it’s a bargain when you take into account what the program brings to the table: the largest, city-wide, high definition crime camera network in the country.

After about a week, the campaign had raised about $2,500.

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“We assist the New Orleans Police Department pretty much on a daily basis with homicides, shootings, stabbings, home invasions, sex crimes, thefts, burglaries. We’re constantly assisting with providing video footage,” told the local ABC affiliate.

That footage comes from 1,400 cameras posted around the city, making Project NOLA what Lagarde calls “a force multiplier” for the city’s police force – something he says is very much-needed.

“We dramatically increase the operational efficiency of the New Orleans Police Department by what we do,” Lagarde said.

Lagarde, who says he has self-funded this project from day one to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, says he wants this to remain a citizen-based initiative. “I will not accept federal money, state money, or local money. It doesn’t work that way.”

He doesn’t want funding from the city, but he says he wants better communication from Police Chief Michael Harrison and Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

“We have a wonderful working relationship with the officers and detectives of the NOPD. Regrettably; who we do not have a good working relationship is the chief … I can’t get a word from the Mayor, and I can’t get a word from the chief,” he said.

The Mayor’s office sent us a statement saying it has its own video security system, SafeCam NOLA.

The statement also said: “We appreciate Project NOLA’s efforts and assistance, and agree that security camera footage can be instrumental in criminal investigations.”

The Communications Director at the NOPD, Tyler Gamble, told WGNO that they do work with Project NOLA on a regular basis, but he said he was “not aware of any outstanding meeting requests for Chief Harrison.”

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