NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Mystic Krewe of Nyx has asked New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison to make an exception to a new time-off rule during Carnival.
The severe manpower issue prompted Harrison to rescind furloughs for NOPD personnel during the Carnival season. However, the decision left some officers who also ride in parades out thousands of dollars just weeks before they were to ride.
It also leaves empty spaces on floats.
The Carnival organization released a statement saying that it respects and understands the chief's position. The krewe's planning director, Gigi Saak, says that "due to the short notice of this decision, we are asking the superintendent to allow our Nyx members to ride in this year's parade."
Harrison told FOX 8 on Tuesday that he knew he had to make a tough management decision in the face of a severe manpower shortage.
"Right now we're at a position where we need to be all hands on deck. When I said public safety was my top priority, it was not just my words, but the words of all police officers - that public safety is our top priority," Harrison said.
Harrison says he overturned one request for time off and denied two others who assumed they could take vacation to ride in parades.
Fraternal Order of Police attorney Donovan Livicarri says the officers, one of them a krewe captain, deserved more notice.