NOPD Recruitment Campaign: Phase Two

police_lightsMayor Landrieu and the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation announce the latest efforts to recruit new officers

It includes a half-million dollar budget, and community outreach.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has details.

An aggressive recruitment campaign is currently underway for the NOPD.

A promotional video showcases the city’s best and brightest in action; in hopes of attracting new applicants.

“Our number one priority is public safety and we will not rest until all of the people in the city feel safe and are safe,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Last year the City of New Orleans, in partnership with the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation launched the recruitment effort, called “Get Behind the Badge.”

Tuesday, city leaders announced the next phase of the campaign.

It includes new commercials, online advertisements, and community outreach.

“We are going to get out in the city. We are going to get out in the churches; we are going to do this in partnership with legislators, senators, and of course city council members.”

The NOPD has struggled to attract quality recruits, even after City Council voted in April to relax residency restrictions and allow applicants to live in parishes other than Orleans.

Making matters worse, the department is losing officers at an alarming rate.

So far this year 73 officers have left the force.

The department has dipped to a new low of about 1,139 officers currently on the force, including 27 recruits going through an academy class.

The goal is to reach 1600 officers.

“I absolutely believe as we go into the coming 6, 12, 18, and 24 months we will reach all of our goals and we will have 1600 people on this police department; and we will do this every single day until we get there,” said New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

More than a half million dollars has been earmarked by the city and the Justice Foundation to recruit new officers.

Still they say it will take a collaborative effort from city leaders and the community.

“We need your help first of all in the short term in talking to your friends, your children, your relatives; encouraging them to join the police department,” said Councilman James Grey.

The city wants to hire 150 new officers this year.

There are currently 27 recruits going through an academy class.

To learn more about becoming a member of the force, visit http://www.joinNOPD.org