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15 NOPD officers promoted to captain; first time since 2003

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 4:39 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Fifteen officers were promoted to captain at the New Orleans Police Department’s most recent promotions ceremony at Gallier Hall. Ten of them were men and five were women.

“This is the first time that in one promotion, five women are being promoted to civil service rank of police captain. That is amazing, especially in today’s time when you have women in leadership positions,” says NOPD Capt. Sabrina Richardson.

It’s also the first time since 2003 that NOPD officers were able to take the captain’s test. On top of that, one officer was promoted to lieutenant and one to sergeant.

The promotions come as the NOPD deals with an increase in crime and a historic loss of manpower.

“[The number of officers] is under 1,100 at this point. It’s between 1,000 and 1,100 total,” says Donovan Livaccari, Fraternal Order of Police attorney.

Livaccari says the manpower crisis is a tough one to fix and it can affect the department’s crime-fighting ability.

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“Fortunately we haven’t gotten to the point of excessive response times, but if the manpower gets too low that’s what is ahead of us,” says Livaccari.

He says while recruitment is important, it’s also key to keep the officers you have now.

“It really takes a lot of focus... especially on the retention side, and that’s what these things are really good for,” says Livaccari.

“It’s key to moral. It’s key to retention within the department to show that we are a department that has career opportunities,” says NOPD Chief Ferguson.

Ferguson says the department is currently training 161 officers to become senior officers as a path forward.

“As I read several of the exit interviews from my officers who separated from the department... that was one of the knocks on our department, not having a path forward to give them the ability to grow,” says Ferguson.

“That makes the people who are trying to reach the next level... make that sergeant position, make that lieutenant position, know that this police department is fair, transparent and there’s a lot of equality and integrity here,” says Capt. Michelle Woodfork.

Ferguson says as the administration continues to recruit additional officers to join the force, he’s hoping more promotions like this one will retain the officers already here.

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