PANO warns of a ‘catastrophic staffing crisis’ for NOPD

PANO NOPD Staffing Shortages

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The attorney for PANO says a combination of the furloughs and the rise in crime is a recipe for disaster. Eric Hessler fears the problems facing the NOPD will continue to get worse.

The Police Association of New Orleans sent a letter this morning to the Mayor and the City Council warning of what they call a catastrophic staffing crisis. According to PANO, the recent furloughs are causing officers to leave the department.

PANO says furloughing officers one day per pay period has the effect of a 10 percent layoff.

He says officers are already losing overtime, details are not happening because of the COVID-19 pandemic and he says the furloughs on top of everything are causing a financial burden on officers across the department. As a result, he says rookie and veteran officers are leaving. He says the city can’t afford to lose officers at a time when violent crime is spiking.

“The department’s goal and responsibility is to protect and serve the public but it goes without saying it is going to be harder to achieve when you’re manpower is slashed. It goes without saying, it is going to be even more difficult to do when crime is doubling and tripling and you’re expected to keep on keeping on and they are. The men and women are working very hard, but they can only do so much in 8 hours,” Eric Hessler said.

PANO is requesting that the Mayor reconsider and discontinue the furlough of the NOPD. We reached out to the city for a response and the NOPD sent us a statement that the furloughs are having a minimal impact on the department and through intentional scheduling, there’s little to no impact on calls for service.

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