NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A staffing change designed to increase New Orleans Police Department presence on city streets goes into effect tonight.
Many NOPD district stations will begin new hours of operation.
From 10 p.m. through 8 a.m. all district stations except for the French Quarter district on Royal Street will be closed to the public.
That means residents will no longer be able to walk in to the stations and make a report during the new off hours.
NOPD leaders say it will free up about 10 officers a night to patrol the streets. The move comes as the department looks to improve its response times.
New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said the change shows the department is serious about dealing with manpower issues.
"It also shows that we're being smart and we're being thoughtful about how we use our resources," Harrison said. "We are using the resources to the best of our ability by putting them out on the field.
Harrison said even answering a new extra calls in the evening hours will make the change worth the effort.
The NOPD is still trying to increase its overall numbers.
Currently, the department employs 1,155 officers, but department leaders would like that number of to be around 1,600.