Monday, February 4 2013, 07:38 PM CST
Mardi Gras security in Port Arthur
PORT ARTHUR - by Ashley Gaston - Volunteers are working together to prevent crime in their Port Arthur neighborhood.
Their work will help police keep Mardi Gras visitors safe.
Workers are welding, bolting brackets, and trying to boost security for the Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas in Port Arthur.
“We decided to join to give police an extra set of eyes and ears,” said Wanda Angelle.
Wanda Angelle is a member of the Port Arthur Neighborhood Watch Committee.
She's one of 13 volunteers who agreed to patrol along the parade routes in their own cars.
“It deters a lot of crime, vehicular crime, from going on outside the gates,” said Angelle.
If volunteers see something unusual outside the Mardi Gras gates, they will call police and ask for help.
“Rest assured we will have citizen groups watching your cars for you and watching you come and go,” said Major Dennis Odom.
Port Arthur police Major Dennis Odom is heading up security during Mardi Gras.
He says dozens of officers will keep watch inside the gates and outside.
“Our goal is to get them into the festival safely and get them out when it’s time to go,” said Major Odom.
Metal detectors and police at all of four entrances will help ensure safety.
“If they spot a known troublemaker they will be turned away,” said Major Odom.
With the goal of keeping trouble out and making sure nothing intrudes on the fun inside Mardi Gras.
The Port Arthur Police Department will get help from officers with the Bridge City and Nederland Police Departments as well as the Orange and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
Mardi Gras is Thursday, February 7th through Sunday the 10th.