NOPD gets new high-tech equipment - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

NOPD gets new high-tech equipment

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NEW ORLEANS - Every NOPD officer will now wear body cameras as they respond to calls.

"You can mount it to your goggles, your helmet, so that wherever I look with my head, this camera is looking at whatever I'm looking at," said Lt. Travis St. Pierre.

"We've purchased 420 of these devices, and we're in a five-year contract to give us the ability to replace these pieces of equipment at any time," said Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

The cameras will have to be activated by the officer.

In addition to the cameras, the NOPD received 100 new cars, 50 new motorcycles and more than 300 new high-tech tasers.

"It has high-definition cameras. It has better sound and most importantly, it has advanced technology for tracking. It shows us when it was used, how it was used and how many times," Serpas said.

The new equipment is being touted as an example of the level of commitment among city leaders to reduce crime.

In 2013, the city saw the lowest murder totals in more than 30 years.

"A 20 percent drop in murder to levels not seen since 1985 is remarkable, but it means we have more work to do because 155 people lost their lives to murder this year," Serpas said.

Serpas credits an 11 percent jump in the homicide clearance rate and a multi-agency task force for helping to reduce murders. A top priority in 2014 will be to increase the number of officers on the force.

"We are working on that as we speak, and I believe our budget reflects the priority that we are placing there," said Councilwoman Susan Guidry.

The NOPD hopes to recruit 150 new officers this year.

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