NEW ORLEANS – The NOLA Coalition, a collection of nearly 550 local nonprofits, civic organizations and businesses, strongly urges the NOPD to immediately resume full online advertising for recruits. For years, online advertising has been the most effective way to attract new officers; since the cessation of online advertising at the end of July, applications have dropped over 50%.
With commissioned officers below 900, the lowest level in decades, the situation is urgent. That said, recruiting and retention efforts to-date for 2023 – including online advertising – have proven effective. NOLA Coalition-supported initiatives to address recruiting, pay, and working conditions have had an impact, with 2023 potentially positioned as a turn-around year for NOPD staffing levels.
In order to meet Chief Woodfork’s stated goal of reaching 1,200 officers within two years, NOPD should immediately restart full online advertising, add a fourth recruiting class for 2023, and aggressively address issues that have recently hindered recruiting and retention efforts, like time for background checks.
The NOLA Coalition commits to working with the NOPD and partners for a safer New Orleans, for all residents. Stabilizing and growing the number of NOPD officers is the foundation for this better future.