A Bourbon Street business owner says he and his fellow owners are working on a plan to pool money to hire off-duty officers to patrol the city's most famous street.
The goal, says Earl Bernhardt, is to restore a sense of safety on Bourbon.
"You have a lot of street hustlers out on Bourbon Street that we gotta get rid of. They prey on the tourists and hustle them for money," Bernhardt said.
"We have been discussing many, many options. We're gonna come back together next week and finalize what we intend to do," Bernhardt said Wednesday in an interview with 99.5 WRNO.
Bernhardt says the June 29 shooting on Bourbon that left a woman dead and nine other people injured escalated concerns about the lack of police presence on the street due to a downsized police force.
Details such as the number of officers needed and how much it's going to cost business owners who will finance it still need to be worked out. Bernhardt hopes the plan can be in place by Labor Day.
"We've got a little breathing room right now because the State Police have said they will stay through Labor Day. So we have until Labor Day to get something worked out and that's what we're working toward," Bernhardt said.