New Orleans councilmembers unimpressed with NOPD recruitment results

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 5:22 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - After spending almost a million dollars to ramp up New Orleans police recruitment efforts, city council members say they are not impressed with the results.

In a city with one of the worst murder rates in the country, a failing effort to bring in new officers has council members looking for solutions.

“It’s bad,” Council President J.P. Morrell said. “The numbers we get back... you have as many as 3,000 individuals who were interested in being NOPD officers, but recruitment classes cover around 20 individuals.”

The council on Thursday (Feb. 2) voted in favor of an audit of the police recruitment and hiring process, which received a $900,000 shot in the arm last year in an attempt to bolster the ranks.

“No one that I know who turned in a resume or responded to an opening has gotten a job yet,” said Councilman Oliver Thomas.

The New Orleans City Council voted to begin an audit of the NOPD recruitment and hiring...
The New Orleans City Council voted to begin an audit of the NOPD recruitment and hiring processes.(rob masson)

Depending on what the audit finds, council members say they may look to hire an outside firm to take over.

“This needs to be fixed because the jobs are there, the budget is there, but the people aren’t there yet,” Thomas said.


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The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) says the most important aspect of increasing police manpower is creating positive word-of-mouth advertising.

“Making the NOPD a better place to work is the key to recruitment,” said FOP attorney Claude Schlesinger. “When New Orleans police officers themselves start recommending employment to potential recruits, then recruitment will pick up.”

Before the council authorizes bringing in police headhunters, they say they are committed to thoroughly analyzing what’s going wrong in the hiring effort.

“We are going to incentivize you to put bodies in positions instead of just trying real hard,” said Morrell.

Some council members worry the auditing process could take too long for a force that’s been steadily depleting over the last few years.

Fox 8 reached out to the Police and Justice Foundation, which handles much of the recruiting efforts but has not heard back.

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