The city of New Orleans has proposed creating a patrol unit of 50 civilians to handle traffic control and non-emergency tasks that currently are handled by NOPD officers.

The operation called NOLA PATROL would be funded by a share of a new 1.5% room tax that is paid by customers of downtown hotels.

Mayor Landrieu says the program would be assigned to the 8th District and would be utilized primarily in the French Quarter and immediate adjacent high traffic areas. He says that allowing the unit to resolve minor incidents would improve police response times for both emergency and non-emergency incidents. 

Landrieu also suggests the program could serve as a recruitment pipeline for fully certified NOPD officers.

The civilians would wear uniforms but would not be armed.

The proposal is subject to an agreement with the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau that must be approved by the City Council.

Mayor Landrieu also is calling for continued assistance from Louisiana State Police.

“The French Quarter is an important economic engine for the city, region, and state, and we all have to do our part to ensure that is a healthy neighborhood," he said.

"I sincerely appreciate the support the State has provided in recent weeks in the form of the Louisiana State Police patrols in the French Quarter and in downtown New Orleans; however, continued LSP support and manpower is critical to both the people of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana."