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Security concerns for Bayou Classic

Thursday, November 24, 2011 - 10:24am

NEW ORLEANS, LA (FOX8) -- Besides stocking up on merchandise, some business owners say having extra security during the Bayou Classic weekend is important.

“I don’t have any trouble at all with the students and the alumni. It’s some of these bad guys that seem to migrate down here and start trouble,” says business owner Earl Bernhardt.

Bernhardt says there’s never been trouble at his place, but he knows what can happen.

“I call them gang bangers or whatever, that come down from other areas into the Quarter during Bayou Classic. They are the ones that are causing the trouble,” says Bernhardt.

The last major event in the Quarter was Halloween, when 8 people were shot on Bourbon Street. One of the victims died.

Surveillance cameras captured the shooting which happened in the 500 block of Bourbon, just outside of the Chris Owens Club. Days after the shooting, Chief Ronal Serpas talked about problems in the past with the club.

“There’s a lot of complaints that our officers are telling me that are coming from that club. I want to continue to have our team investigate that to determine if there are any violations present. I can assure you, when you think about the 8 traditional blocks of Bourbon Street, officers will tell you most problems they face come from that club,” says Chief Ronal Serpas.

Club officials insisted that none of the violence on Halloween night stemmed from Chris Owens.

Now, just days ahead of the Bayou Classic crowds, a spokesperson for Owens says the entertainer met with Chief Serpas in hopes of keeping her corner of Bourbon Street safe this weekend.

We’re told club managers will be very strict about who enters the club and extra security will be present.

The NOPD also has a new security plan for major events that will start this weekend.

Every uniformed officer with a gun and a badge will be working.

That will give the 1st and the 8th districts an additional 450 officers. Business owners welcome the new plan and the large crowds in hopes of getting a much needed economic boost.


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