NOPD increasing patrols for Essence Fest & holiday weekend

Janet Jackson performs at the 2018 Essence Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Sunday,...
Janet Jackson performs at the 2018 Essence Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Sunday, July 8, 2018, in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)(Amy Harris | Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 4:36 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Hundreds of thousands of people are making their way to New Orleans for the return of Essence Festival. Police Chief Shaun Ferguson said he feels his department is prepared for the huge crowds.

Crime across New Orleans has city officials and emergency responders reminding everyone to play it safe.

“Stay alert and vigilant of your surroundings every step of the way, no doubt about it,” said Mayor Latoya Cantrell. “If you see something please say something.”

The NOPD and Louisiana State Police plan to have extra patrols around the city.

Ferguson said officers will work a combination of eight and 12-hour shifts, and he said most intersections in the downtown area will be manned by NOPD officers.

“We’ll be making sure that everyone is safe and having a good time,” he said.

Ferguson said this weekend is unique since it’s also a holiday weekend. He’s reminding everyone that shooting weapons or fireworks to celebrate is illegal.

To help keep order during the evenings, NOPD and the city’s Office of Homeland Security plan to set up more street lighting and light towers off Poydras, Canal, Bourbon, and Decatur Streets.

“It’s just another physical security enhancement that we have gotten used to doing during these special events,” said OHSEP Director Collin Arnold.

The New Orleans Fire Department and EMS teams say they’ll have ample coverage for this busy weekend that’s expected to bring more than 400,000 visitors to the city.

“I want our residents and visitors to understand that their safety is our number one priority,” said Mayor Cantrell.

City officials want locals and visitors to celebrate responsibly this weekend. They encourage people to take advantage of rideshare apps, taxis, and other public transportation available.

There will be parking restrictions and road closures near the French Quarter. Click here for more information.

OHSEP asks visitors and locals to text NOLA Ready at 77295 for real-time updates from the city.

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