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Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Officials at City Hall say we're going to start seeing more community outreach as they try to recruit more New Orleans police officers.

It's all part of a three-month push to get more people to apply for the NOPD.

During the second phase of recruitment you'll see television ads, but you'll also see officials visiting churches across the city in an effort to find qualified applicants.

So far 27 people are going through the only academy class this year, and three others have been hired for the next academy class, which could begin as early as August or October.

But it's still a far cry from the 150 recruits Mayor Mitch Landrieu had hoped for this year.

And with officers leaving at an average of one every 60 hours, bringing the number of NOPD officers to a modern-day low, officials say recruitment efforts are critical.

'This is just the beginning. We will continue the hiring process, and we will continue to make sure the city is safe, and we won't stop until that is so,' Landrieu said.

'I absolutely believe as we go into the coming six, 12, 18 or 24 months, we will reach all of our goals and we will have 1,600 people on this police department and we will do this every single day until we get there,' said NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

Officials are planning two recruitment events next month and they're touting new equipment and better facilities as part of their recruitment efforts.

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