There is no cutout of a smiling cop telling you to be careful and not violate any local laws. There is no warning telling you that of all the large cities and mid-sized towns in the country, this is the one in which you are most likely to be arrested.
In fact, it is.
Nationally, Gretna is known as the place where, as Katrina’s flood waters stubbornly refused to recede, police stood at the end of the bridge, guns drawn, to block the crowds who were trying to evacuate New Orleans. It is a reputation the suburban refuge has spent a decade trying to live down.
Gretna has an elegant if largely empty turn-of-the-century downtown and new riverfront condos with a view of New Orleans that start at around $349,000. What you would not know from just walking through its well-manicured downtown is that even in Louisiana, a state that leads the country in arresting and imprisoning people, Gretna stands out for the frequency with which it makes arrests.