NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The New Orleans City Council is expected to decide Thursday, whether or not to lift a requirement that some say could help the New Orleans Police Department recruit more officers.
It's a law that says the city's first responders are required to live in Orleans Parish in order to work in the parish, but a change by City Council would allow officers and first responders to live wherever they choose.
The changes are being considered after concerns were raised that the law might make it hard for the city to hire new police officers. And it has been a highly debated issue, because the NOPD simply does not currently have enough officers on the street.
In October, the issue went before a committee and Thursday, it is expected to go before the full City Council for a vote.
Already, the city is trying to aggressively tackle the shortage of officers, and some say this is one way to attract new hires to the force.
In the 2014 budget, the mayor set aside money so the department could hire 150 new officers. Police Chief Ronal Serpas, as well as police unions, support the measure, saying they need at least 300 officers to operate the department at the desired personnel level of 1500.
However, some believe the vote could be a close one, as originally the Council Committee narrowly approved the proposal, after concerns were raised about how the community would be affected by having first responders that don’t live in the city in which they serve.