NOPD response times average 2 hours, force at critically low staffing levels, according to data analyst

The NOPD has lost nearly 50 officers just since the start of the year, according to the police association.
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 9:46 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Police Department’s issues with officer retention continue, with officers leaving the force at a rate of about one every other day, according to the police association. As officers leave NOPD in droves, response times across the city are increasing with no end in sight.

On Tuesday, New Orleans City Council’s data analyst Jeff Asher laid out his research regarding NOPD’s average response times for the first three months of 2022.

For the first quarter of the year, NOPD had an average response time of 128 minutes, or just over two hours. Emergency calls averaged a response time of around 28 minutes, while non-emergency calls averaged a response time of 163 minutes, or more than 2.5 hours.

Burglary calls alone average a response time of more than three hours, Asher said.

“New Orleans is considerably the worst in the ones I look at,” Asher said. “We’re talking about Jefferson Parish, we’re talking about 4 minute response time on average for an emergency call and 11 minutes on average for a non-emergency call.”

The increasing response times come when the department is at critical staffing levels.

According to publicly available data, just over 1,000 officers remain on the force. The department has lost nearly 50 officers since the start of the year, or one every other day, according to the Police Association of New Orleans (PANO).

“It’s not policing, it’s policing in New Orleans that’s the problem,” said Mike Glasser, President of PANO. “This is about the worst I’ve ever [seen]. In a career that spans four decades, and this is unquestionably the worst.”

Glasser said attrition has continued at NOPD unabetted, with the main issues driving officers away from the force going unaddressed.

An internal survey from the New Orleans Police Department reveals officers feel a lack of support, overly punitive discipline and restrictive policing policies, and general burnout are factors contributing to attrition on the force.

“Those are the things that are driving them away. If we don’t fix those things, you’re not going to have a police department pretty soon,” Glasser said. “At what point do you find it critical? As our response times go up, our ability to provide public safety goes down, crime continues to increase, it’s at catastrophic levels when the public says it is.”

Residents of New Orleans said crime is constantly at the forefront of their minds.

“There’s no answer. The police, politicians, the council, nobody has the answers,” said Brian Woodson.

Woodson moved back to New Orleans from Dallas around two years ago.

He said friends and relatives are actively avoiding the city due to the crime, but he’s planning on staying put.

“I’m not running scared, too old to run scared. Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen, I’m ready for whatever happens afterwards,” he said. “But this city, it ain’t the city it used to be.”

Mayor LaToya Cantrell has put forward a bonus plan that would pay out bonuses to NOPD officers, along with also understaffed EMS, equipment maintenance, and juvenile detention officers.

The bonus plan has gone to the attorney general’s office for a state review before it can be implemented. But Glasser said the problem runs deeper than pay.

FOX 8 reached out to the Mayor’s Office for a response. A spokesperson said they are awaiting the AG’s review of the bonus plan.


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