As National Guard soldiers and State Police troopers rolled back into New Orleans, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco told them: “I call on you to assure that crime has no role in our recovery,” reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “Criminals, hear me loud and hear me clearly: There is law and order in New Orleans.”
Police Superintendent Warren Riley said an expected population influx means, “It’s going to be a long, hot summer.” Guard officers said their force will swell to 300, possibly as soon as today. A handful of soldiers had M-16 rifles slung over their shoulders, but that gun, which can fire a round as far as a mile, isn’t the best weapon in confined areas or in close combat, soldiers said. Another step Blanco and Mayor Ray Nagin hope can sharply reduce crime is a juvenile curfew. Reacting to the national headlines generated by killings last weekend, the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau issued two pages of “talking points” to combat the notion that outlaws rule the streets. The letter notes that the killings happened “at 4 a.m. in the sparsely populated Central City neighborhood,” and it said visitors should not be afraid.