Report: NOPD has enough cops, just uses them wrong
Dave Cohen Reporting
The New Orleans Office of Inspector General has released an evaluation of how the NOPD deploys officers. It finds that there is sufficient overall manpower, but not have enough cops responding to calls.
"NOPD does not have a sufficient number of officers assigned to answer calls for service," stated Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux in a news release. "But we have police officers assigned to non-law enforcement duties who could be doing this function. We should be exploring all possible options before we increase the force strength of NOPD by 300 police officers."
Watch a video of the Inspector General discussing the report:
Quatrevaux says they did the study in response to community concerns over the number of police officers New Orleans needs and city leaders pledging to hire more cops.
In the report, the inspector general finds "most NOPD platoons were not sufficiently staffed to meet the demand of citizen generated calls for service."
In fact, he says that of the approximately 1,000 police officers; only 251 were assigned to responding to calls for service.
Quatrevaux issued other recommendations:
-Assign sworn officers only to positions which require law enforcement training, expertise, or experience.
-Increase supervisors’ span of control: NOPD supervisors managed an average of 3.1 to 4.3 officers, well above the national average for supervisors to staff.
-Develop alternative methods for responding to burglar alarms and minor traffic accidents.
"We are short of officers on the street," Quatrevaux insisted. "But, we do not have to hire another three hundred officers to do the work."
New Orleans Police Chief responded in a 12 page letter.
"Your report never engages in an all- inclusive staffing analysis of the department. Instead, it attempts to draw broad conclusions by evaluating only one of NOPD's many policing responsibilities," Ronal Serpas tells the I.G. "To be clear, responding to calls for service is a very important part of the department's work, but is just one of many responsibilities that must be considered when evaluating our comprehensive staffing needs."
Serpas told WWL TV, "The officer who is most likely going to solve the murder of your family member is a detective. The report ignores detectives. The officer that's going to most likely solve a problem in your neighborhood is the community policing effort. The report ignores community policing... this report ignores everything except calls for service. That's why I disagree with it."