NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — On Thursday, Mayor Cantrell and the New Orleans Police Department held a press conference to announce immediate changes to police policies. In the press conference, Cantrell spoke about her goal to retain and recruit officers to fight crime in the city.

Cantrell and the NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson said that they visited every district and bureau since last Thursday to hear firsthand concerns, recommendations, and solutions to create a better work environment for employees in the New Orleans Police Department.

Here are the immediate policy changes that will be implemented according to the NOPD.

  • Modernizing NOPD’s personal appearance standards by allowing facial hair and fingernail polish.
  • Recognizing and rewarding officers for their promotions and other advancements in a more frequent and timely manner.
  • The recent purchase of 75 new Ford Explorers for vehicle and equipment improvements.
  • Implementing more civilian involvement within the New Orleans police force to allow NOPD to focus and concentrate on the real threats to public safety.

Upon the release of the new policies, NOPD Capt. Michael Glasser with the Police Association of New Orleans told WGNO that the new appearance policies wouldn’t help retain officers and instead, the real problem is elsewhere.

“The primary problem, the number one issue is the Public Integrity Bureau. That is the number one thing that needs to be overhauled if we’re going to stop the attrition,” Glaser explained. “While a lot of them are creature comforts that the officers will like, they’re not leaving or staying behind the ability to wear a beard or shorts or a ball hat or any of those things. That’s just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. While they’re comfortable and we appreciate them, that’s not the issue.”

Along with focusing on retention, recruitment, and resources the New Orleans Police Department announced that, the city is submitting a petition to get rid of the consent decree due to the burden on officers. “Our profession is very difficult in these times,“ said Ferguson.

Ferguson said that in 2022 they promoted 150 senior police officers – something that hasn’t been done since 2018. He also mentioned that 30 more senior police officers will be promoted next week.

“As officers are eligible, we will make sure they are promoted in a timely manner,” said Mayor Cantrell.

Mayor Cantrell said that the members of the New Orleans Police Department need more recognization for all the good things they do in the city. “We have a world-class police department just like we have a world-class city,” said Mayor Cantrell.