As our community deals with all of what’s horrible about the novel coronavirus, it’s good to know that there are people being helpful, people being kind and people stepping up to serve in some of the most critical jobs.
Mark Hall Jr. was recently pinned with his father’s New Orleans police badge as he was sworn in as part of one of the New Orleans Police Department recruits. The actual ceremony for the New Orleans Police Training Academy was earlier this month . Hall didn’t attend with his colleague recruits. He missed it because he recently lost his father, Mark Hall Sr., a 30-year police force veteran who was the first New Orleans police officer to die from COVID-19. The elder Hall was diagnosed on April 3.
The younger Hall is following in his father’s footsteps. His was a personal celebration, and a tribute to his father. New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Ferguson watched as he took his oath of office and was pinned with his dad’s badge. When he lost his father, the academy training stopped as he and his family grieved. He took the required exam and graduated three weeks later than the rest of Class No. 188. He and the rest of the class continue their new careers with field training.
The elder Hall was a well-loved and respected officer, according to his colleagues and many in the Eighth District community where he served.
As veteran police officers resign and retire each year, it becomes more important that the cities identify, recruit and train more women and men to advise communities about safe practices in accordance with city laws, maintain peace and order and intervene to deal with violations when necessary. Balancing departures and arrivals has an impact on emergency and nonemergency response times, so each new recruit contributes to the effort as Ferguson balance unfortunate crimes of violence with emergency and nonemergency calls, including public gatherings the city prohibits during Phase 1 of reopening. New Orleans residents have repeatedly identified crime and police protection as a top priority. The city cannot come close to providing the desired services without officers. Baton Rouge, Lafayette and other southern Louisiana communities and parishes face similar circumstances.
As our economy opens more and some work to find some sense of normalcy, it’s good to know that Hall and others are stepping up to serve.