The New Orleans Police Department believes its recruitment efforts are paying off. NOPD Chief Michael Harrison spoke to the city council about the department's efforts.
NOPD officials said they have hired 59 recruits so far this year and a couple dozen more are expected to graduate next month.
Officials said they are getting more qualified applicants and with the launching of the online application site, they have received more than six times the amount of applications compared to last year.
But Harrison said the ongoing federal consent decree presents challenges, as it doesn't allow classes of more than 30 recruits at a time. Officials said they plan to appeal that in an effort to move that maximum number up to 50 per class.
Harrison said another issue is an outdated training facility.
"I think, logistically, we probably could handle 40 to 50 per class. The space is small, but at some point we will probably need to look for a new facility," Harrison said. "If we can have more recruits in a single class, we will find a way to give them quality training. I think the problem comes in with the frequency of classes. If we needed to move more than two at a time, then we'll run into real space issues. But right now, if we can lift the number from 30, we will find a way to adequately train those people."
Officials say they expect to hire 150 new recruits next year.