Beefed up security, that's what you'll find at Jazz Fest. This, as Chief Warren Riley warns residents they may see a spike in crime around the festival.
Riley explains, "We certainly have to be quite aware of some of our out of town thugs who will come back, just like they did for Mardi Gras, just like they did for the Christmas holidays."
He also says he believes most of the crime that will occur will take place in the neighborhoods surrounding the Fair Grounds. The people who live there like Andrew Nolan say they're going to be prepared. "Its always a concern, but I think if you're aware of your surroundings, you can be pretty safe."
Walking around inside of the fest, an NOPD officer can be found at almost every turn. Riley says he's stationed hundreds of officers at different locations to keep crime at bay. "We'll go probably six or seven blocks outside of the Jazz Fest for those people going back and forth walking and such, so we have a large presence out there."
This comes as reassuring news to people like Darlene Washington whose traveling alone with her daughter. "I feel very comfortable that I'm safe going back to my car but we still take precautions on our own we don't leave too late at night or anything like that, make sure its still light out" Washington says.
As crime numbers continue to drop in the city, Chief Riley says this weekend may just be a bump in the road. But, his officers will be prepared to take down anyone involved in criminal activity, and protect the people out enjoying the festival.