NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The New Orleans Police Department graduates it's first recruit class of the year as it continues stepped up efforts to rebuild the force. However, officials say if voters had approved, the effort could have been far more robust.
The 28 members of recruit class 174 are the first to graduate this year, and the NOPD hopes that three more follow suit, between now, and Christmas week.
"It builds morale for the men and women in the field carrying the load," said Supt Michael Harrison, but the numbers of cops carrying that load might have been bigger had voters approved a new law enforcement millage.
"Had it passed...next year, we could have hired 185 officers instead of 150," Harrison said.
That would have meant as many as 7 new recruit classes instead of five.
The mayor says he will likely go back to voters in the not-so-distant future to try and get more money for cops.
"I'm not sure, my job is to make sure the city is fiscally healthy, you can't have something you can't pay for," Landrieu said.
As the ranks of the NOPD are rebuilt, the mayor hopes that more help comes for those, on the front lines. A new recruit class, number 176, starts Monday. For the first time ever, it will have more than 30 members thanks to new guidelines under the NOPD consent decree.