NOPD to receive $7.26M from DOJ to hire more officers

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:36 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Department of Justice announced more than $139M in grant funding will provide direct funding to law enforcement agencies throughout the country for law enforcement hiring.

The New Orleans Police Department will receive the largest grant at $7.26M to fund the hiring of approximately 30 officers and other policing programs.

The NOPD is dealing with a serious manpower issue and Chief Shawn Ferguson knows the focus needs to be on recruitment and retention. He’s already addressing the problem with city council members.

Eric Hessler, attorney for the Police Association of New Orleans (PANO) said the grant money will help, but there’s still work to do.

“Getting them here is one thing. Keeping them here is another. So I mean certainly we look forward to the department getting that money and spending it wisely but I think that there’s some non-economic factors that the department’s been ignoring for too long,” said Hessler.

Meanwhile, other larger cities are set to receive less for more officers. Like Chicago, Cincinnati, and Houston-- each set to receive $6.2M to hire 50 new officers.

“I think at any given time we’ve got maybe 900 working officers and I think we lost maybe 35 so far,” said Hessler. “You can ask for one thing, wish for another but what actually happens, who knows.”

Either way, he said the grant is a step in the right direction to fill the gaps at the NOPD.

Of the 183 agencies awarded grants, about half say will use the funding on building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Requests for comment to the NOPD on the grant announcement and how the money would be used were unsuccessful.

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