In light of emails from former Police Chief Ronal Serpas expressing dire warnings about an erosion in NOPD manpower, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said that the crisis came amid a cascade of competing budget wildfires that left him largely handcuffed.

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with WWL-TV, Landrieu defended his decisions to override then-Superintendent Serpas and maintain an NOPD hiring freeze, portraying a city on the brink of bankruptcy.

"We found ourselves on an emergency room table gasping for breath," Landrieu said in the interview.

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