NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The NOPD is stepping up its game when it comes to recruiting new officers. It's turning to Sunday service for help, but today's recruitment at City of Love Church in Hollygrove holds special meaning for Interim Superintendent Michael Harrison.
"We always been announcing him as chief because we believe in his dream," said Alaina Fingal, a church member. "His dream is to become chief of the police department."
Harrison and Mayor Mitch Landrieu walked into cheers and fanfare Sunday morning. Harrison is an ordained minister at the City of Love Church.
"There are a lot of reason I might be here," Harrison told the crowd. "There is only one reason I know I'm here." The church was the last stop for the Mayor and Harrison. It's part of a recruiting tour. The two stopped at over a dozen churches throughout the area.
The NOPD has been running an aggressive recruiting campaign. Earlier this month, they held an event at Dillard University that streamline the testing process for hopeful recruits. But even with new recruits, number say there are still fewer officers in the NOPD than there have been in decades.
During the service, both men addressed the issue of dwindling manpower on the force. They also encouraged people to step up.
"I want to be the person to hire you," said Harrison. "I want to be the person to pin your badge."
The service was also an opportunity for the Interim Superintendent to thank family, friends, and the City of Love Church. Harrison says the congregation has supported him long before the new title came along.
"It was just a matter of when," said Michael Hall, another church member. "We knew it was going to happen."