‘It’s our livelihood and we want it to be better’ – Business owners say crime is hurting communities

Business owners in the French Quarter say more needs to be done to protect tourists and locals this Mardi Gras season.

NEW ORLEANS — Business owners say crime is hurting their businesses and more needs to be done to protect tourists and locals this Mardi Gras season.

Frank Galliano Jr. has owned Frank’s Restaurant for 43 years in the quarter. The building has been named after the family since the 60’s.

“We are businessmen trying to make a living, so we need to act quickly,” Galliano told Witness News

Eyewitness News asked if the crime had hurt his business,

“It hurts everyone here,” he said.

He said crime was driving people out of the city and it was taking a toll on business.

“You pay rent, insurance and property taxes. You have to make decent money to survive here,” Galliano said.

Weeks into the carnival, he said city leaders now need to let go of their pride and ask for help.

“Bring in the National Guard, bring in some kind of military or state police to help because they really need it because crime just got out of hand,” he said.

In Midtown, Jay Morris of Juan’s Flying Burrito said he wasn’t too worried about crime during parade season.

“In Midtown, I’m not as worried, it’s definitely a rowdy crowd, but it’s definitely hyperlocal,” Morris said.

Mayor Cantrell emphasized the city’s emphasis on public safety during a news conference Wednesday.

“These routes must be consistent with our deployment strategy so we can keep residents and visitors safe. That’s the number one priority during Mardi Gras, public safety. Public safety will impact our routes,” Cantrell said.

Meanwhile, residents of Jefferson Parish are feeling the sting of crime. Residents of River Ridge Apartments Creeks woke up Wednesday to at least 62 vehicles that had been broken into.

Investigators arrested the 12- and 14-year-old brothers and their 42-year-old mother for the crime, and obtained separate warrants. A third and fourth suspect escaped, according to the sheriff.

Sheriff Lopinto spoke about his department’s work to protect people and property during the carnival.

“Of course we have undercover agents, we have helicopters in the air, we have something to do when we have a lot of police out there, you have to be stupid to come to Jefferson Parish and do the theft,” Lopinto said.

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