Big crowds are expected in New Orleans this weekend for the NBA All-Star game festivities as well as the usual massive Mardi Gras season which is underway big league in the next couple of weeks.

To head off potential trouble and to help ensure the safety of the partying public the Louisiana State Police are stepping up protective patrols, which will include plainclothes officers along the parade routes and in the crowds looking for people with illegal weapons and other troublemakers.

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In addition to the ever-present New Orleans Police Department the LSP will have an additional 165 officers in uniform and plain clothes on patrol.  A spokesman for the LSP suggested to the general public that if you see something that does not look right, do not hesitate to inform a nearby patrolman whether it be a local police officer or state trooper.

The state police also asks everyone to be sure they always have a safe ride home as there will also be special patrols out for DWI checkpoints.