NOPD workforce crisis could affect future events and parade routes
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – When not enough New Orleans police officers volunteered to work in detail for the Krewe of Boo parade, the organizers cut a dozen blocks from the route.
While so many spectators enjoyed watching a parade in New Orleans again, the parade route was shortened by several blocks.
New Orleans Police Association attorney Eric Hessler said the city did not have enough registered officers to work on the details of the parade. To compensate, the NOPD had to withdraw two agents from each district, a total of 14 agents, to work the road. However, this was not enough and the entire part of the Canal Street road was cut off.
“This was a private organization running a parade, so they had retail agents who would be paid by the organization to run the parade route. From what I was told, there weren’t enough officers who chose to work on the details, ”Hessler says.
There are about 1,000 NOPD agents, according to Hessler. He says that number is extremely low and could affect coverage of major events in the future.
Hessler says that so far this year around 120 officers have already left the force. Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission says the department is at its lowest for 40 years when it comes to manpower.
Mayor Cantrell said she was considering change the start of several parade routes from Jefferson and Magazine to Napoleon and St. Charles Avenue.
“It is clear that the parades will have to be secured and the department will be responsible for it. So I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you saw a shorter, more consistent parade route that can be controlled by fewer people because they won’t have a choice, ”says Hessler.
“This is just another reminder of some of the implications of a workforce crisis we are facing,” said Rafael Goyeneche, Metropolitan Crime Commission.
Goyeneche says the NOPD is doing what it can with the number of officers it has in the force. While this is not a quick fix, Goyeneche stresses that the public will continue to feel the effects until it is resolved.
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