New first responders don't have to live in New Orleans
Chris Miller / Dave Cohen Reporting
The New Orleans City Council, trying to help boost NOPD recruiting, today voted to ease parts of the city's ordinance that requires city employees to live within city limits.
New Police officers, firefighters and EMS employees will not have to live in the New Orleans city limits to get hired.
The measure has been on the council's agenda since last fall. It would allow new hires to maintain a residence outside New Orleans.
It changes the rules "relative to the domicile requirement for employees of the City of New Orleans, to establish an exemption of said requirement for commissioned law enforcement officers hired by the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), firefighters hired by the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD), and emergency medical technicians hired by New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS)."
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu wants to hire 150 cops to the New Orleans Police Department. His administration sought a relaxing of the residency rules to help them bring in experienced cops from nearby jurisdictions and not have to put 150 rookies on the street.
Opponents say it is not fair to require other departments in city government to play be different rules than police, fire and EMS. They also complain it does not apply to current employees, just new hires.
The council overwhelmingly passed the measure by a vote of 6 - 1.