“New Orleans, Louisiana, is adding dozens of civilian employees to its police department amid an ongoing staffing crisis, according to police,” WND reported.
“The New Orleans Police Department is hiring 50 to 75 civilians amid a staffing crisis to reduce the workload on officers and decrease the police response time,” NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said in a Thursday press conference.
“Civilians will respond to calls that do not require police presence and answer the phones and take some of the workload from administrative police officers, and some civilians will be trained to take over detective work, according to Ferguson,” the outlet added.
Short-staffed New Orleans police hiring civilians to help amid violent crime surge: ‘Alarming to residents’ https://t.co/06V7h2npdV
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 27, 2022
The New Orleans police department is overhauling its hiring process to include civilians, as well as eliminate credit score checks and marijuana use questions. https://t.co/zKV6qoWDWB
— NPR (@NPR) September 26, 2022
While facing the shortage, New Orleans has been struggling with surging violent crime — especially murder.
“The city of New Orleans has been declared the murder capital of the United States for the first half of 2022, according to the Metropolitan Crime Commission,” WDSU 6 noted.
“According to data from AH Datalytics, compiled using the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, New Orleans has a per capita year-to-date homicide rate of 72 per 100,000 residents. The next three U.S. cities behind New Orleans are Birmingham with a per capita homicide rate of 59 per 100,000 residents and Baltimore and St. Louis, each with a per capita homicide rate of 58 per 100,000 residents,” local station Fox 8 reported over the summer.
Fox News reported:
Attorney Laura Rodrigue, who is working to oust New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, joined “Fox & Friends First” Tuesday to discuss why the new policy is so alarming and what it means for the community.
“Resorting to hiring civilians to respond to crime scenes is alarming to the residents and should be alarming throughout the country,” Rodrigue told co-host Todd Piro. “They came out and said that civilians will be responding to non-emergency calls that come in through 911.”
“The problem with that is within the last year, NOPD received over 100 calls for first-degree rape, first-degree rape being the most serious rape in Louisiana, carrying a mandatory life sentence, and they classified those as non-emergency,” she continued. “So that should be alarming to people to think that a case or a call that comes in for something serious could be classified as non-emergency.”
The department, which lost 150 officers last year alone, is expected to hire civilians to fill administrative roles, alongside several dozen others who will be responding to “non-emergency” 911 calls.
“The goal of all of this is to make our officers feel safe so that they can make our citizens and visitors feel safe,” Ferguson said.
“This is also to reduce some of the workload currently placed on our patrol and district personnel. But more importantly this is designed to reduce response time and address the backlogs in which we have in some of our districts.”