Despite recently inducting the largest recruit class since the city resumed hiring police, a look at recruiting numbers within the New Orleans Police Department shows that the city faces a challenge to rebuild the force, according to a WWL-TV report.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has vowed to hire 150 recruits in 2016, a promise that he made – and fell short of – in both 2014 and 2015, WWL-TV reported. The number is part of a higher goal to reach a total of 1,600 officers by 2020.
Capt. Michael Glasser, president of the Police Association of New Orleans, told WWL that NOPD will once again have a hard time reaching those numbers this year, and that so far it’s already behind on the goal.
“I don't see that as an attainable goal at this juncture,” Glasser told the station. “We can't hit 1,200. So the chances of us getting to 1,600 or 1,700 or even 1,500 are remote at the rate we're going.”
On Monday, 39 NOPD recruits were inaugurated, the largest class since the end of the 2010-13 police hiring freeze that Landrieu ordered because of city budget problems.
Even with that induction, the department has only gained a net total of 11 officers this year, WWL reported, from 1,154 to 1,165 officers. So far this year, 28 officers have either retired, resigned or were dismissed.
“We can hire 150, but if we lose 150 we break even,” Glasser said. “And the problem is we've done nothing to stop the attrition. So while we fill the bucket at the top, we're not plugging the hole at the bottom.”