Sidney Torres: The French Quarter’s Honorary Mayor

Trash business entrepreneur Sidney Torres IV seems to be the French Quarter’s saving grace, as he vamps up a plan to fight violent crime in New Orleans’ most famous neighborhood.

Torres, who is known for his rockstar good-looks, will launch a mobile phone crime app in a few weeks, which the public will be able to use to report a crime in the French Quarter.

Additionally, Torres has taken it upon himself to pay off-duty New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officers to patrol the French Quarter 24-hours a day in groups of three on police go-carts.

The “3 Men and an App” plan is innovative, but most interesting perhaps are the news reports last night by WDSU, WGNO and WWL.

The three late-night reports from local media focused heavily on the man behind the crime-fighting plan, Torres himself, while only mentioning Mayor Mitch Landrieu once.

Further, Landrieu did not even make himself available to comment on the plan, leaving all the talking up to Torres to promote the task force.

Here are the three reports to take note of:

If you weren’t from the state and simply saw these three news reports, you may think that Torres was the mayor of New Orleans, though he is certainly the French Quarter’s.

With that said, imagine if Torres had never come forward to put his money where his mouth is.

Landrieu’s crime-fighting plan of creating and pouring a $1 million into the unarmed, civilian ‘NOLA Patrol,’ designed to free-up NOPD officers, would be the only aid to helping combat violent crime in the French Quarter.

Though the Louisiana State Police (LSP) are currently in New Orleans, Torres saw the state police as a temporary solution and not the end-all, be-all to fighting crime in the city.

New Orleans is a city that needs a public figure like Torres, willing to innovate and create new solutions for long-standing problems, all while getting the public to engage in the process via a mobile app.

Already, the local media is wondering how Torres will continue funding the plan after a couple of months, though Torres said he has private business owners lined up to fund the program.

But, maybe the question should be: Why didn’t Landrieu think of this?

Just today, Torres has mentioned via Facebook that his efforts in the French Quarter are partially thanks to the cooperation of Landrieu’s office, saying “The Mayor and his administration have worked with us by expediting the task force plan and making it a reality.”

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