NOPD graduates new officers as the department deals with a manpower shortage

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 7:12 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -More than a dozen men and women graduated today from the NOPD Police Academy. They took the oath of office to become a New Orleans Police Officer at a time when there’s a serious manpower shortage in the department, as well as a rising violent crime rate. Chief Shaun Ferguson says there are about 1,140 officers on the force right now. 14 officers retired last month alone, 11 of them with over 30 years of experience. Chief Ferguson says the city is working now to find ways to retain the officers already on the force. But, today 14 men and women graduated and became the newest members of the force. They’ve come from around the country to join at a tough time.

“I wanted to be a New Orleans Police Officer. I’m from Arizona originally, but every time I came, I fell in love with New Orleans and I can’t imagine a better job than making the city better,” says Officer Samuel Pope.

“We just have to think about some ways in which we can retain those we’ve hired thus far, through whatever that may be. It could be financial ways or other resources, but we have to do our due diligence to ensure our officers that we have their back. They have our support, as well as the communities support,” says NOPD Supt. Shaun Ferguson.

Chief Ferguson says about 25 recruits are in training right now and they’re working to gather another class of recruits now. The city recognizes the manpower shortage and says it will work on officer retention through the budget process. The city also pointed out it’s hiring new officers at a time when other departments aren’t doing that.

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