French Quarter business owners say more needs to be done to protect tourists and locals this Carnival season.
NEW ORLEANS – Business owners say crime is hurting business and that more needs to be done to protect tourists and locals this Carnival season.
Frank Gagliano Jr. has owned Frank’s Restaurant in the Quarter for 43 years. The building has been in the family’s name since the 60s.
“We’re business people trying to make a living, so something has to be done soon,” Gagliano told NewsWitness News.
Witness News asked if crime is hurting his business,
“It’s hurting everybody down here,” he said.
He says crime is driving people out of town and that’s hurting business.
“You pay rent, you pay insurance and you pay property taxes. You have to make a good amount of money to survive here,” Gagliano said.
Weeks into the carnival season, he says city leaders need to eat their pride and call for help now.
“Bring in the national guard, bring in some sort of military or state police to help because they really need it, crime is just out of control,” he said.
While in Mid City, Jay Morris of Juan’s Flying Burrito says he’s not too worried about crime during parade season.
“In Mid City I’m not as worried about it, it’s a loud crowd for sure, but it’s definitely hyper-local for sure,” Morris said.
Mayor Cantrell emphasized the city’s commitment to public safety at Wednesday’s news conference.
“Roads need to align with our deployment strategy so we can keep our residents and visitors safe. This is the priority during carnivals, public safety. Public safety will affect our roads,” Cantrell said.
Meanwhile in Jefferson Parish – residents also felt the sting of crime. On Wednesday, residents living at the Creeks of River Ridge Apartments woke up to find at least 62 vehicles broken into.
Investigators arrested 12- and 14-year-old brothers for the crime, along with their 42-year-old mother on a separate warrant. According to the Sheriff, the third and fourth suspects fled.
Sheriff Lopinto talked about what his department is doing to protect people and property during the carnival.
“We certainly have undercover, we have our helicopter in the air, we have some things we can do when we have a heavy police presence there, you’d have to be a fool to come to Jefferson Parish to commit burglaries,” Lopinto said .