Posted as a courtesy to the GDSD

Several months ago, the Garden District Security District held a couple of neighborhood meetings to discuss with the residents their preference for embarking on a public camera program within the Garden District boundaries.  The concept was to approach Entergy and Bell South to seek approval on using their poles to mount several cameras in the area that could be used to help solve crimes.   The funding for the purchase and maintenance of these cameras would come from the GDSD coffers without having to go to residents for additional dollars.  This would be a pilot program for a period of time to determine its success in lowering crime in the area.

As in all issues the response from the residents was very mixed, though most favored going forward with this program.  In the few months that have passed since these meetings, the GDSD Board of Commissioners and their committee have studied the issue and learned that obtaining the use of the Entergy and Bell South poles is much more difficult than originally expected because of the legal and liability complications.

 An additional takeaway from those neighborhood meetings was that residents wanted us to explore other mechanisms that may help increase public safety in the area.  Additional lights and personal cameras were top suggestions.   The GDA and the GDA formed a combined committee to address these issues.  Thus, while we will continue to work on a long term plan with Entergy and Bellsouth for public cameras, the GDSD has decided to focus on these two things that can bring immediate change to the area and get all residents involved.   This email will focus on the lighting aspect.  A later report will focus on personal property cameras.

 As part of the regular scope of duties, the GDSD patrol provides a monthly report of all light outages in the area.  The GDSD office then sends it to the city to put in line for repair.    You can report a light outage as well by simply calling 311.  All in all, most of the outages have been repaired under the Public Works Department contracts or are on the list to be repaired or have a more complex problem than can be repaired at this time.  Therefore, we embarked on a survey of the neighborhood to determine the darkest blocks due to the omission of lights, rather than light outages.

 This is where you and your neighbors can help by adding lights to the exterior of your house or by adding a street light on your block for very little cost. Attached is a list of locations where an existing pole can handle an additional light. Entergy has a program which allows anyone to order a light to be installed for free, and a  nominal monthly fee ($15 – $40).  It is a quick process.  The light can be installed within a few days and billed through your current Entergy bill.  If the light breaks, Entergy will fix it at no charge to you as the light belongs to them, not the city.

 We ask that you review the list (Dark Locations in the Garden District-3)  and discuss with your neighbors the option of adding a light in your area.  If you decide to light up your block to benefit your family and your neighbors, please call Entergy at 1-866-603-0192 to get started.

 And please let us know when the light is installed so we can monitor the changes on the list.  We appreciate your assistance in making our neighborhood a safe place to live.