State and federal agencies will provide back up for New Orleans police and city departments heading into this year’s Carnival season.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell hosted the annual news conference on how the city plans to keep visitors and residents safe while parades and parties pack the streets.
There are the usual street closures in the French Quarter, police patrols of parade routes and sanitation crews scrambling to keep streets clean. But this year, officials are rerouting major parades to avoid the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel on Canal Street. And firefighters are rejecting some overtime in a dispute with the city.
Cantrell said fire trucks will not be following parades as they have in the past. She said that after floats are inspected, the trucks will return to their stations.
“They will not now follow a parade. They will, however, be dispatched appropriately to be able to adequately respond to any emergencies," she said.
Fire Chief Tim McConnell denied rumors of firefighters calling in sick to protest overtime they say is excessive.
“We got a commitment from firefighter labor – the union – that they would not do that. That they committed to firefighters showing up at work for their regularly scheduled duties," he said.
Fat Tuesday is Feb. 25.