Privately funded police force in New Orleans uses apps to patrol rich, white French Quarter
An article published yesterday in The New York Times Magazine profiles a New Orleans man named Sidney Torres who has implemented his own security task force in his French Quarter neighborhood. Many counties have signed contracts with privatized security companies, some of whom use technologically advanced methods to fight crime.
Torres launched his initiative after his French Quarter mansion was burglarized during a wave of crime that lasted almost a year in the neighborhood. His network of N.O.P.D. off-duty officers drive around the neighborhood, which is just over half a square mile, in GPS-tracked Polaris Rangers resembling mini golf carts. Most French Quarter residents welcome the officers, who respond to emergencies via an app specifically designed for Torres' initiative.
The French Quarter neighborhood is almost entirely white and wealthy, a very small area of a city that is predominately black and is home to some of the poorest neighborhoods in the country. While the city of New Orleans has long suffered from an alarmingly high crime rate, burglaries, and violent crimes have increased in the French Quarter over the past several years, prompting a new-found sense of urgency regarding policing.
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