Mardi Gras Parade Routes to Get More Security Cameras

Police hope to have 250 security cameras installed by the first quarter of this year. About a dozen cameras recently went up in other areas of the city.

NEW ORLEANS — The city of New Orleans is looking to install an additional 250 video surveillance cameras to go along with a dozen of them that recently went up along the Uptown, Mid-City and Algiers Mardi Gras parade routes.

NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison expressed a warning to would-be criminals via WWL-TV:

“You won’t be able to travel in this city, anywhere without going down a public street and being caught on a camera or license plate reader,” Harrison said.

The video surveillance system is integrated into the city’s new real-time monitoring center. There are now security cameras in all eight police department districts across the city in high-crime areas. Some of the cameras can be moved as crime trends change, according to WWL-TV.

“We can now track where vehicles went, where people walked and get good descriptions and then match that up to give information to the officers and detectives in the field in real time,” Harrison said.

Many of the camera units are lit by flashing red and blue lights to make them more visible than the plain white-box installations the city has put up during the past year. That is an intentional decision to assuage the concerns of neighborhood residents and deter crime, New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Aaron Miller told The Advocate.

“It lets people know there are public safety resources in the neighborhood,” he said.

The initial security plan called for a total of 200 cameras in 10 “hot spot” neighborhoods, plus additional mobile cameras, at a cost of about $8.5 million, The Advocate reports. The camera total was bumped to 250, with a particular focus on locations in residential neighborhoods, after the initial installation ended up being cheaper to install than expected, Miller said.

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