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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Sidney Torres updates crime app, announces new patrol cars and a 'war room'

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge Sidney Torres and one of the new French Quarter Task Force Smart cars. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Sidney Torres and one of the new French Quarter Task Force Smart cars.

Former garbage king and current crime-fighting real estate developer Sidney D. Torres IV announced a new fleet of vehicles and a "2.0" version of the French Quarter Task Force app he developed last year, described as the "Uber of policing" in the neighborhood.

Torres jumpstarted the program last year with more than $300,000 and a handful of off-duty New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officers riding souped-up ATV-like Polaris golf carts responding to some crimes in the French Quarter. He supervised the program, including real-time GPS tracking, for a few months before the French Quarter Management District took over with funding from the hotel tax-funded French Quarter Improvement Fund. He later argued the app wasn't working and had a public spat with Bob Simms, who now oversees the program, over program efficiency and whether officers actually were working while on the clock.
click to enlarge The 8th District "War Room." - PHOTO COURTESY SIDNEY TORRES
  • PHOTO COURTESY SIDNEY TORRES
  • The 8th District "War Room."

Torres says he's made nice with Simms, and he's announced three new Smart cars (to eventually replace the Polaris vehicles) and 24-hour supervision of the app, among other software updates, like letting cops clock in and out from the app — as well as the NOPD's 8th District "high tech war room" with video surveillance of patrols. Calls for service and police whereabouts are monitored through the software at the 8th District.

“Technology doesn’t stop crime; technology helps people stop crime," Torres said in a statement. "Good technology can help make the teamwork between the public and NOPD more effective."

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