NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - After a busy weekend for the NOPD, one crime-monitoring group is hoping to give residents more perspective into what police deal with on a daily basis.
ProjectNOLA is inviting residents to take a look at their scanners and logs of police calls to seehow NOPD responds to crimes.
"In reality, those police officers are hustling really hard, and that's what we hear on the scanners and that's part of the reason why we're now going to have that open house where people can log onto our scanners temporarily, see and hear what our volunteers are listening to," said ProjectNOLA founder Bryan Lagarde.
Lagarde notes that officers can't always respond to every call immediately, and that's likely because of a lack of manpower on the force.
"I think manpower is the most significant problem that this department faces right now, and it impacts virtually every aspect of policing," said Fraternal Order of Police attorney Donovan Livaccari. "Police officers also want to be able to provide the citizens of this city with the best service that they possibly can, but they're kind of hamstrung to be able to do that because of manpower."
Livaccari said the answer is likely convincing current officers not to leave New Orleans, and that's something the city is taking very seriously. Currently NOPD is rolling out the second of three pay raises for officers as well as making significant investments in new technology and safety tools.
So far, the NOPD has invested in 540 body cameras with 100 more expected to be issued soon. It has issued 400 new vehicles in the past three years. The force also offers current officers a $1,000 bonus for successfully mentoring a recruit through the academy process.
Still, with only 61 recruits set to graduate over the next two academy classes, it's not possible for every call to get an immediate response.
"We want to be able to help everybody with everything, and eventually they're not going to forget about you," Livacarri said. "But the way manpower is now, it could cause some people to wait a little longer than they should have to,"