NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas said he only has 1,260 officers funded in the 2013 budget -- a significant drop in the number of officers that past administrations hoped to have on the streets.
At a New Orleans City Council budget hearing Wednesday morning, Serpas said those 1,260 positions would be "fully-funded," guaranteeing them through the end of the year.
Compared to 2010, the NOPD is 18 percent smaller. The chief said he hopes to have another police academy and a recruiting class in 2013.
"The scary part is that if you divide out three shifts and eight districts, we're talking about seven per district on every shift, crime fighting from cars, patrolling, calls to service. That's scary. That is very, very scary," said Jackie Clarkson, city council vice president.
Although crime is up in 2012, it did not increase by the amount it did in 2011, Serpas said.
"We have a horrendous problem with young men killing each other," Serpas said.
Serpas also noted that the three domestic crime officers in the department is not enough. "A department our size should have 12 or 14," he said.
The consent decree would cost the NOPD $4.75 million in 2013.
The Super Bowl alone is expected to cost $1.5 million in overtime for the police department.