New Orleans police are facing their lowest troop strength in 40 years, a statistic that former New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas tried to rectify years go in emails, according to an investigative article on WWL-TV.
Emails from Serpas around the time of the fall 2011 budget hearings took an alarming tone when he was informed that not only was he not getting extra money to hire new officers, but his personnel budget was actually getting cut.
In a response email to NOPD Deputy Superintendent and budget chief Stephanie Landry, Serpas wrote, "A staffing cut of this sort will also require that we come almost entirely a "reactive" police department."
Mayor Mitch Landrieu promised five recruit classes in 2014 to add 150 officers, but the NOPD was only able to field two academy classes, adding 78 officers while losing 120 officers in the same year.
Serpas declined comment for the WWL-TV story, saying only that his "emails speak for themselves."