NOPD graduates nearly a dozen recruits

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 5:01 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) welcomed 11 new officers on Friday (March 31) as recruit class 196 graduated from the academy.

During the ceremony, the recruits were first pinned by a family member, and then they heard speeches from Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Superintendent Michelle Woodfork. This was the first class to graduate under the Interim Superintendent, and out of 12 individuals who started the class, 11 of them graduated. The graduation also marked Superintendent Woodfork’s first 100 days in office.

NOPD’s manpower has been a serious issue, with only 930 officers currently on the force according to the NOLA Coalition. However, the situation could improve this year as the Superintendent says there will be more recruits this year than last. Woodfork also talked about the changes she has implemented since taking office to better the department, including appointing new leadership for the five bureaus and introducing a crime plan with a focus on reducing violent crime, recruitment, and compliance with the consent decree.

Some of the graduates are from different states around the country, such as Off. Esteban Martinez who said, “I’m from Tyler Texas. Over there, it’s pretty calm. New Orleans is something different. I applied, and I knew the risks coming in, but I knew that I needed to make a difference. I wanted to help. My dream was to be in law enforcement, and New Orleans was the place to do it.”

Currently, there are 18 recruits going through the academy, set to graduate in August. The next recruit class will begin on April 10th, and the NOPD expects between 20 and 25 recruits to begin training.

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