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State Police increase presence in New Orleans for Carnival 2019

Posted at 4:34 PM, Feb 26, 2019

Louisiana State Troopers are getting ready for the final and busiest weekend of Carnival 2019.

In an effort to ensure safety on New Orleans area roadways, the Louisiana State Police says they are partnering with the New Orleans Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and several other law enforcement agencies.

Governor John Bel Edwards has committed over 170 Louisiana State Police Troopers from across the state to supplement those Troopers already working in the city, according to a release. Troopers will be on assignment in the French Quarter and metro area, primarily focusing on proactive patrols, criminal investigations, crowd control and traffic control.

The following are tips from Louisiana State Police for remaining safe this Mardi Gras season.

 Also, the City of New Orleans NOLA Ready has text alerts available that will keep parade-goers abreast of weather, parade delays, or other unexpected issues during parades. You can take advantage of this system by texting MARDIGRAS to 888777.

Please also utilize https://routewise.nola.gov/ which is a new parade tracker that will display the beginning and end of the parades, as well as public restrooms, first aid stations, and lost children stations. “Routewise” will also display your current location, which will allow you to copy the URL and text your friends and family your exact location along the parade route. Safety tips, transportation impacts and extra Mardi Gras information can be found at https://ready.nola.gov/mardi-gras/.

Personal Safety:

  • Know where your children are, and do not allow them to play in areas where vehicular traffic is possible and also during the parades while floats are moving.
  • Abide by laws enacted by the New Orleans City Council regarding safety on parade routes:
    • Do not block intersections with ladders, grills, etc. These areas need to be kept open for emergency vehicles.
    • Ladders should be at least 6 feet from barricades; this prevents a ladder and child from tipping over in front of a moving float and/or onto the roadway.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the area you will be walking in, pick up a local map or get directions from reliable people, such as hotel personnel or law enforcement officers.
  • AVOID vacant areas and dark alleys. There is safety in numbers so walk with someone you know or stay with the crowd.
  • Do not flash large sums of currency while in public. This could possibly catch the eye of criminals.
  • Carry pertinent information (driver’s license, ID, credit cards, keys, etc.) and valuables in your front pocket. This puts pickpockets at a disadvantage. Avoid wearing baggy pants because they are easier targets for criminals. If possible, connect a chain from your wallet to your belt loop, making it more difficult for the criminals.
  • Ladies, avoid carrying bulky purses and wearing expensive/flashy jewelry. Ensure your purse is zipped at all times. This prevents criminals from reaching into your purse. Also, carry pertinent information in your front pocket.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Remember, the first thing alcohol affects is your judgment. A highly intoxicated person can be an easy target for a criminal.

Safety for Children:

  • Once you arrive at your spot on the parade route, have your child identify two landmarks that let them know where they are. This makes children aware of their surroundings from the beginning.
  • Make a plan ahead of time of what your child should do if he/she gets separated from you. If there is a police officer nearby, the child should go to the officer. If there is no police officer around, the child should look for a family with small children to ask for help.
  • It is helpful to write a cell phone number on a small piece of paper and pin that paper inside of the child’s shirt or jacket in case he/she gets lost. Even when children have a phone number memorized, it can be difficult to remember when the child is scared.
  • Notice anyone in the crowd who may be paying a great deal of attention to your child.
  • Take your child’s picture with your cell phone before you head out for the day. If the worst thing happens, you can show the police exactly what your child looks like and what he/she was wearing.
  • If your child gets separated from you, please utilize the https://routewise.nola.gov/ which will display the nearest “Lost Child” station.

Driving Safety:

  • DRIVE SOBER! Prior to enjoying the festivities, make a plan and stick to it! Get a designated driver, take a taxi or have a sober family member or friend pick you up and take you home safely. Also, do not get in the vehicle with an impaired driver.
  • BUCKLE UP! Louisiana law requires EVERYONE in the vehicle to be properly restrained. In the event of a crash, the SAFEST place to be is inside the vehicle.
  • IF YOU DRINK AND DRIVE YOU WILL GO TO JAIL! Louisiana State Troopers will be aggressively patrolling the roads for impaired drivers.

Parking:

  • Pay attention to parking signs and use common sense. There will be limited parking available; attempt to carpool or use an alternate form of transportation.
  • Observe the restricted parking areas in and around the French Quarter and New Orleans Arena. Do not block fire hydrants or driveways. Do not interfere with the flow of traffic on streets or sidewalks. This will ensure the safe movement of emergency vehicles / personnel responding to calls for service and emergency situations.
  • Following these tips and the parking signs may prevent you from having your vehicle towed or paying a fine.
  • Remember to remove all valuables from your vehicle or from the view of the public eye.
  • Double check to ensure your vehicle is locked and the windows are closed. Make sure you have your keys. Also, take a look around you and remember where you parked.
  • Know pertinent information about your vehicle, such as your license plate number. This will assist you and the police in determining whether your vehicle has been towed or stolen.
  • If you utilize a smart phone, place a pin on your parking location, this will aid you in finding your vehicle later in the day.

Please remember to utilize the “See Something, Send Something” app to report real-time activity to the appropriate investigators. The app is found listed as See Send by My Mobile Witness, Inc. and is a nationwide suspicious activity reporting tool for citizens. Both text and/or pictures may be submitted directly to public safety personnel.

Citizens and visitors can also follow Louisiana State Police on our social media pages: www.facebook.com/LouisianaStatePolice/ and twitter.com/LAStatePolice.

Louisiana State Police wants everyone to remain safe, make good decisions, and have a safe and Happy Mardi Gras! To report possibly impaired and/or aggressive drivers, please dial *LSP (*577) from your cell phone.