NOPD manpower down while homicide solve rate going up

Published: Jul. 23, 2013 at 2:14 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2013 at 2:17 AM CDT
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New Orleans, La. - With a reduction of overall violent crime in New Orleans, NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas says his officers are solving more homicide cases this year compared to last.

At the same time, the NOPD is also dealing with a significant manpower shortage that has a lot of people upset with the lack of police presence in their neighborhoods.

Chief Serpas says he knows the manpower issue is a problem that must be solved but that isn't going to happen overnight.

There are about 1,226 people working for the NOPD right now. Serpas says the NOPD loses between 100 to 150 people each year because of a combination of resignations, dismissals and retirements.

"We're in the middle of hiring. We have one recruit class with 27 people right now. We are working towards hiring another recruit class. Recruiting is a very difficult process because you want to make sure you're hiring the right people," says Chief Serpas.

Serpas says he's confident he'll have a second recruit class by the end of this year.

He also points out that overall violent crime across the city is down. And despite the manpower shortage, the homicide solve rate is going up.

"The murder solve rate is going up this year and a lot of things have to do with that. The detectives are getting better training. They are getting more seasoned," says Chief Serpas.

Serpas says specialized units, such as the gang unit and the firearms unit, are also helping to solve more cases.