The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) and New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission today (Friday, Sept. 20) announced safety and security enhancements on the Lafitte Greenway, which include emergency call boxes, public safety cameras, grounds patrol officers, and lighting repairs.
“We are pleased to complete the installation of emergency call boxes, and safety cameras along the Lafitte Greenway. The completion of this project will aid in ensuring our residents may safely access NORD’s many amenities, and travel along the Greenway,” said NORD CEO Larry Barabino, Jr. “I want to thank Mayor LaToya Cantrell and NOHSEP for their leadership in making sure that NORD provides something for everyone in a safe environment.”
“Public safety is our top priority,” said NOHSEP Director Collin Arnold. “With these security enhancements, we hope residents can use our parks safely and, if an incident does occur, can quickly connect to emergency personnel for assistance.”
Lafitte Greenway safety and security enhancements include the following features:
- Emergency Call Boxes — 18 emergency call boxes spread out along the 2.6-mile linear park. Call box locations are clearly marked with a blue light and vertical letters that spell “EMERGENCY.” In an emergency, Greenway users should press the button to be connected to a third-party call service, who will transfer the call to 9-1-1 if necessary. Each call box includes a built-in camera feed connected to the City’s Real-Time Crime Center (RTCC). Residents are asked to reserve use of call boxes for cases of emergency.
- Public Safety Cameras — In addition to the 18 built-in call box cameras, NOHSEP installed 53 public safety camera feeds along the Greenway, bringing the project’s camera installation total to 71. Like public safety cameras across the city, footage along the Greenway can be accessed by RTCC technicians in real time during an emergency or after the fact for investigations of criminal or quality of life incidents. Greenway cameras have already provided relevant footage for a number of incidents within the vicinity of the linear park this year.
- Grounds Patrol Officers — Greenway security enhancements also include grounds patrol officers employed by NORD and supervised by NOHSEP. Officers patrol the Lafitte Greenway during the park’s open hours and are also notified when a call is placed from one of the emergency call boxes.
- Lighting Repairs — After a series of copper thefts earlier this year that extinguished some lighting along the trail, the Department of Public Works (DPW) has made extensive repairs to light poles. Since the installation of public safety cameras, the incidence of copper theft has greatly diminished.
The security measures were made possible through a partnership between NOHSEP, NORD and DPW, with funds from the 2017 Citywide Public Safety Initiative. Purchase and installation of the security equipment totaled roughly $255,000. Axis Communications assisted in the initial design of the security enhancements.