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Hello, my husband and I have visited NOLA many, many times and love it, but have not been since the storm. We were planning to go later this month, but are concerned about the crime in the news. We have always ignored non-NOLA fans when they talked about the crime, knowing that it was usually far from the quarter. Is this still true? With all of the issues in the news with the NOLA police being so short handed, I am beginning to question our plans and wondering if we may want to give the city a little longer to heal. What can you tell me about the crime and where it is happening? Kelly- Beaumont, TX

7 January 2007

It’s unfortunate that any city has violent crime. New Orleans gets more than its fair share.

Since Katrina, the media seems determined to focus on bad news and they do so on the front page. The National media has set up offices here and are also into reporting on anything negative or sensational in grand proportions. Don’t get me wrong, they are only doing their job, but they conveniently leave out the other facts about what’s happening here on the positive side. The good news just doesn’t sell as well.

Since New Years Day we have had a rash of crime. Almost all of it was drug related or situations where the victim knew the perpetrator. One was a random murder of a lovely young lady in a neighborhood known to be in a risky area. She and her husband moved there to show support for the town and help rebuild. It was very sad. The reports of less police don’t give you the whole story either. Yes, we are down about 300 officers. But we are also down about 200,000 citizens. And the Governor has stationed several hundred National Guard troops in the outlying areas of the city so that the police do not have to patrol those neighborhoods. So, there is plenty of coverage in the French Quarter, for example.

I have checked the papers of other major cities for the same period. Houston has had several murders, so has Chicago, LA, New York and you are aware of the killing of the Denver football player on New Years Eve. It’s everywhere. All the time.

For tourists visiting here, the Convention and Visitors Bureau points out that we have had several hundreds of thousands of meeting goers and tourists in the city over the past year and there have been no major incidents for visitors coming to the French Quarter, the Park, Zoo, the Superdome and all the major attractions. As long as you do not need to tour the neighborhoods where most of the crime is happening, and you follow common sense rules, then you are as safe as you would be in any large city. For that matter, I bet if you check your local paper for the past week, you will find a murder or two and some robberies. It’s horrific, but it’s the fact of life in America today.

Here at the Inn, I am happy to report that we have had over 14,000 guests in the past five years, none have reported any incidents like robberies or muggings while they spent time in New Orleans. We have not had anything happen to our guests since the storm, despite the news reports about crime. It is always possible, however, so we caution everyone to be careful and use good judgment, as they would at home.

Do plan your vacation here in New Orleans, and do ask others to come visit as well. The tourist part of town is in great shape, the restaurants are better than ever and all the sightseeing venues are up and running. January accommodation rates around town are a value, so you can really save if you visit in the next few weeks. Call the Inn if you need more information or check out our website.

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