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Keeping Carnival safe

Carnival really gets started tonight, with parades on both sides of the lake. Law enforcement officials say they are ready for their busiest time of the year.

[level-gold-level]Despite the recent concerns about the manpower issues facing the New Orleans Police Department, Chief Michael Harrison says they couldn’t be more ready.

“We will do everything that we can to make sure we have a safe Mardi Gras,” Chief Harrison told the New Orleans City Council. “We’re at a hundred percent staffing levels. That means every single person will be working. Officers in the districts are working 12-hour shifts.”

The chief said they are also getting a generous amount of help from other law enforcement agencies.

“We’re going to be joined by several local and regional and state law enforcement agencies,” he said. “The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s office will be joining us with some patrols,” including officers from their mounted division.

The chief said 42 Louisiana State Police troopers begin their Mardi Gras deployment in the Crescent City today. They’ll number 150 for the five-day period that begins in one week.

“UNO is giving us five officers for the second weekend, and Tulane University’s providing six” for the first weekend, and ten for the next, said Harrison.

The chief said the St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office is sending ten deputies to help out on Fat Tuesday, and 30 Louisiana Department of Corrections officers will handle the French Quarter street closures during the second weekend.


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