NOPD putting more officers on patrol, hiring civilians for non-emergencies

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson says every district will soon have more officers on the street.

Ferguson announced his new deployment plan that will go into effect on Sunday. He says 75 or more officers will be on patrol, including officers currently in administrative positions in investigative units.

The goal is to decrease response times as the NOPD deals with a serious manpower shortage. Ferguson says right now, they have about an 11-minute response time for priority calls.

“We will also be using our traffic and K9, as well as our reserve divisions. Those are units that are normally in a standby position, waiting to be called upon. That will not happen any longer. They will be in the field in some sort of deployment status,” says Chief Ferguson.

The department is also hiring what they call civilian police intake specialists. Ferguson says those civilians will help to man the phones and take the place of some of the administrative police officers. On top of that, the NOPD will hire between 50 and 75 civilians to respond to calls for service when a police officer isn’t needed.

“As we take calls over the phone, there may be some evidence that needs to be collected with that call. We’ll have civilian investigators to go out and collect that evidence instead of an officer having to go out there and collect that evidence,” says Chief Ferguson.

The chief says there is still a major focus on recruitment and retention but he believes the new deployment strategy will help to keep his officers and the community safer.

Ferguson says on September 30, the NOPD will graduate 18 recruits.

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