NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — On Thursday afternoon, city leaders held a press conference to discuss short-term and long-term NOPD policy changes. Mayor LaToya Cantrell was joined by CAO Gilbert Montaño, Chief Shaun Ferguson, and Consulting Chief Fausto Pichardo to discuss many financial incentives for officers.
City leaders touched base on many different changes for the NOPD. One of the main topics that were discussed was an $80 million dollar package meant to retain and recruit police officers. The package is part of a three-year plan to bring at least 200 more officers to the city.
A breakdown of the plan includes the following:
- $30,000 hiring bonus.
- 100 percent coverage of health insurance (no cost of health insurance for police and the entire family.)
- Rental assistance for all officers.
- $2 million or more will be spent on new technology.
- $25 million will be spent on 600 new police vehicles.
- $6 million will be spent on the recruitment of 200 officers.
Along with an enhancement of financial incentives for new recruits and existing officers, Mayor Cantrell talked about reassignments that will begin immediately. City officials announced the reassignment of Keith Sanchez as the head of the Public Integrity Bureau and Chief Westbrook was reassigned to the CAO’s Office to focus on the consent decree.
NOPD members from different departments will begin patrolling the streets, including homicide detectives who will have to patrol at least once a month said, NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.
According to city leaders, they are working on making overtime pensionable, 12-hour shifts, and letting officers take home their police vehicles( NOPD needs to purchase at least 600 more vehicles to make that happen.) Mayor Cantrell said that she also asked to extend healthcare coverage to firefighters and EMS as well.