NOPD graduates Recruit Class 172 in face of new challenges - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

NOPD graduates Recruit Class 172 in face of new challenges

The NOPD graduated its latest class of recruits. (FOX 8 Photo) The NOPD graduated its latest class of recruits. (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

At a time when police deaths are up across the country, families of newly sworn NOPD recruits say they are not worried about their loved ones.

They took part today in a police graduation of 29 new officers Thursday at the University of New Orleans. They gathered on UNO's front lawn -- new fighters in the war on crime.

Family members fumbled a bit as they pin badges on 29 loved ones for the first time in a ceremony before the graduation.

"He wanted to come back and do something for the city because crime was so bad," said Monica McCarvy, the wife of graduate Jonathan McCarvy.

Not only will these new officers fight high crime, but recruit class 172 faces personal risk.

 From New Orleans to Chicago, police deaths have nearly doubled, according to the FBI.

"I'm not worried about him. God's with him. This is something he's wanted," said McCarvy.

In 2014, the FBI says 51 police officers were feloniously killed, up from 27 the year before.

"In spite of what's going on around the country, they have something inside of them, the will to serve," said NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison.

Aside from police officers being shot across the country, the NOPD has had a big problem with attrition -- something it thought it was getting a handle on.

The department now has about 1,135 officers with seven experienced officers recently joining a new state police recruit class.

"That's sometime a natural progression, and some people have those aspirations all along," said Harrison

"These folks are committed to the future of New Orleans, it's a good day for us," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

For now, newly minted officer Jonathan McCarvy is happy for his new assignment.

"He's worked so hard, he's very excited to become a police officer," said his uncle, Forest Buxton.

And in a department hungry for new officers, district commanders are ready to snap them up.

The Young Leadership Council Wednesday called for new recruits to take part in a  new program.

YLC spokeswoman Calais Waring said, "Come in when we have soccer games and deal with children who have been taught to fear officers.”

The YLC hopes the new program breaks down walls between police and citizens.

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