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New Orleans police are relaunching their reserve academy, which has been on hiatus for 15 years, officials said.

Area residents can seek to become three types of volunteer reserves, police said.

A level one is a non-commissioned reserve who helps with traffic control, barricades and other functions during events such as Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest. This kind of reserve must be at least 18 as well as pass a drug test and background check.

A level two is a fully commissioned, uniformed New Orleans police officer who is certified by the Peace Officer Standards and Training council. This kind of reserve is in field training, is attending additional required training, is at least 20 ½ years old and can pass a drug and background check. Level two reserves must always work with a fully trained police officer.

A level three reserve is a fully trained officer receiving additional training on the police consent decree. This type of reserve can work paid details, receive a uniform allowance of $750 once a year and make traffic stops.

Level one reserves must be at least 18. Level two and three reserves must be at least 20 ½ years old. All must be able to pass a drug test and background check.

Anyone interested in applying for the reserve academy can register at JoinNOPD.org. Officials expect classes to begin in late summer and last about seven months. Participants should expect to attend four-hour classes twice a week, as well as full-day sessions on Saturday for that period.

Contact Troy McConnell at (504) 473-4214 or tpmcconnell@nola.gov for more information.

In other matters:

• An Orleans Parish grand jury on Thursday charged six people with working together to deal illicit drugs across town.

The group is accused of selling marijuana, Ecstasy, the liquid form of the main ingredient in cannabis, methamphetamine, and the pharmaceutical commonly sold as Xanax in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish. Five separate raids between Dec. 20, 2016, and Sept. 1, 2017, resulted in the seizures of drugs, weapons, scales and cash, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office said.

The defendants are Tyrin Wiltz, 24; Dhaz Wiltz, 18; Marlin Davis, 18; Makenzie Thornton, 20; Nziki Wiltz, 43; and Daneille Brown, 44. Searches of cars, homes and hotel rooms suggested the group operated in areas such as Gentilly, New Orleans East an Chalmette, where Brown – Tyrin Wiltz’s mother – lived.

If convicted, the defendants face between five and 50 years in prison.

• Orleans Parish grand jurors on Thursday charged Devonte Britton, 42, with first-degree rape, sexual battery and indecent behavior. The victim in the case was younger than 13 when he was assaulted last year between Jan. 1 and Sept. 11, Cannizzaro’s office said.

Britton faces mandatory life imprisonment if convicted of rape.

• Orleans Parish grand jurors on Thursday also charged Edwin Rodriguez, 37, with raping a preteen girl and produced sexually explicit images of her.

He faces charges of raping a child younger than 13 and production of child pornography, Cannizzaro’s office said. The case came to light while he was arrested by Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies on Aug. 10 following accusations that he used a samurai-style sword to cut the hand of an 11-year-old boy while the child tried to defend his mother during an argument between the woman and Rodriguez.

Rodriguez occasionally would babysit the girl, who was raped in either 2017 or 2018, when she was between the ages of 11 and 12, Cannizzaro’s office said.

• After getting a cab ride from Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans to the 200 block of Veterans Boulevard in Kenner on Tuesday, a man ran off without paying and then pointed a gun at the cabbie as the victim followed the suspect, police said Thursday.

The incident occurred about 2:25 p.m. Police released surveillance images of the suspect.

• Andrew Jordan, 49, is wanted in a domestic abuse case involving allegations that he fought with a woman, took her keys and stole her car in the 6100 block of Tullis Drive in Algiers on Saturday, New Orleans police said. Anyone with information can call (504) 658-6040.

• A 49-year-old man walking to the store was robbed of his watch, cell phone and wallet after being approached by another man and a woman at the corner of Decatur Street and Ursulines Avenue in the French Quarter, New Orleans police said Thursday. The case was reported about 3 p.m. Wednesday.


Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.