NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell today was joined by New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Superintendent Shaun Ferguson to announce a series of steps being taken to address NOPD officers’ concerns.
“We have a world-class police department, and it is imperative that we ensure every officer feels safe in their jobs and respected on their patrols,” said Mayor Cantrell. “Nothing is off limits, and everything is under consideration: equipment, vehicles, facilities, operations–all of it. I have listened to our officers’ needs, and my administration intends to deliver.”
Mayor Cantrell and Chief Ferguson announced immediate policy changes being implemented to ease the burden on NOPD officers, while simultaneously improving public safety. This includes:
- 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
- Lessening officers’ burden and implementing more civilian involvement within the New Orleans police force to allow NOPD to focus and concentrate on the real threats to public safety
Mayor Cantrell also announced that she plans to take on the consent decree that the NOPD has been operating under since 2013. NOPD’s consent decree monitor has added to police officers’ burdens due to punitive punishments and overbearing paperwork. In addition to these immediate policy changes and improvements, the City Attorney’s office is in the process of filing letters and paperwork requesting the U.S. Department of Justice to release NOPD from the consent decree, which will allow for bias-free monitoring.
In the upcoming days, weeks and months, the City will announce more short-term and long-term policy changes, additional funding for vehicles and equipment, incentives, enhanced recruitment initiatives and more resources available to ensure that every officer on the force feels safe in their jobs and respected on their patrols.