Loss in police manpower in 4th District raises concerns - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Loss in police manpower in 4th District raises concerns

FOX 8 File FOX 8 File

Neighbors in Algiers voiced concern Thursday night about a loss in police manpower there.

They say, in 2009, the former 4th District commander told them there were about 105 officers on the streets. Now, police say around 75 officers work in the 4th District.

Commander Brian Weiss of the 4th District told residents during a community meeting NOPD simply does not have the number of officers it did 10 or 20 years ago. But, he says platoon officers are not the only ones who go on the streets. Detectives, task force officers, and narcotics officers are also answering emergencies, along with help from a number of other NOPD units.  So the number of officers on the street fluctuates on a daily basis.

The Algiers community has demanded better crimefighting strategies in the past, and now some are wondering why there has been such a decline in police manpower over the last couple of years.

"A 24 percent decrease is a 24 percent decrease and if it was considered sufficient two and a half years ago to have 25 percent more officers, we're concerned.  And our concern certainly extends citywide, because we know the entire city, neighborhoods, and officers are confronting that decrease in manpower, and that is of concern to those who serve and those who are being served and their safety," said Mike Rocks, Algiers Point Neighborhood Watch coordinator.

"The lack of patrols are alarming. When I moved here two years ago, almost every night, because we're such a porch-oriented neighborhood in Algiers Point, almost every night we would see an officer go by.  Now it is so rare, you can tell the lack of patrolling that is happening here," said Algiers Point resident Candace Reed.

"We supplement officers on the platoon with my task force, narcotics.  I also put my detectives out there, so if we have a burglary problem, detectives would be out there," said 4th District Commander Weiss.

Commander Weiss says there are 13 to 25 officers on the streets of the 4th District every day. And he says Algiers remains one of the safest communities in the country.

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