Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Neighborhood Watch

Well now we know who will enforce the smoking ban. Guess what, it is you.
People can file complaints against businesses ignoring the new smoking ban by filling out a complaint form or calling the city's non-emergency 311 hotline.

After receiving a second complaint, the city's health department will conduct a site visit and "provide educational materials and encourage compliance."

The proposed regulations don't spell out what would happen after additional violations.

The city encourages people filing complaints to include date- and time-stamped photographs documenting illegal smoking.
MARGE SIMPSON: "You know, the courts may not be working any more, but as long as everyone is videotaping everyone else, justice will be done."

This past weekend, a friend on the Parallel Internet recounted a story about Sidney Torres's privatized app cops responding to noise complaints even though that wasn't supposed to be their purpose.
Admittedly: We were making a fair ruckus, dancing in the street on Bourbon. I get why folks might have preferred a bit more peaceful Sunday afternoon in the Quarter after a recently-departed parade. And I can understand why people might complain. But this response shocked me. The point of the app, as I understand it, is to help prevent crime. Within a week or two of launching, it seems like it's already evolved to a NIMBY-ish alert. We weren't asked to simply turn it down - we were ordered to turn it nearly off and to move on towards Esplanade and thus leave the area.

This happened while there were hundreds, perhaps thousands of people dispersing throughout the Quarter as afternoon turned to evening. The same Quarter that has seen the sickening rates of muggings, shootings, violent crime, vandalism, etc. that supposedly sparked the creation of Torres' force. One would hope / think / EXPECT that these Polaris cruisers would have a lot more important things to do, like trying to protect and serve all of the other people. Particularly if this is a program that the City might fund in a few months.

According to a report on WWL, Bob Simms, chairman of the French Quarter Management District Security Task Force, said "We are not having them do quality of life type things because you can tie yourself up with people urinating on the sidewalk and things like that," Simms said. "These are meant to be for real crimes."

The "real crime" is unsanctioned dancing on Bourbon Street after a parade, obviously. This is only the beginning.

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