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City of New Orleans hopes money will help a struggling police department

$80 million to be spend on boosting officer numbers and improving officer retention.

NEW ORLEANS — It’s an $80 million plan over the course of three years, and its supposed to help the struggling police department.

Mayor Cantrell said at Thursday's press conference, “Focus very heavily on retention, as well as recruitment as well being a priority.” 

The biggest announcement is that everyone on the force now and in the future will get a raise. City Administrative Officer Gilbert Montano broke down the details of the $80 million investment in bonuses for new and existing officers, more police technology and a goal to recruit 200 officers additional to the city.

New recruits and those who transfer to the New Orleans Police Department from anywhere across the state or country will get $20,000 at the end of their first year, and another $10,000 after their third year. Salaries for will increase by 5%. Officers will get an additional $5,000 for every 5 years of service up to 20 years.

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The department will also get 600 new patrol cars and new equipment

Montano said, they will, "Start addressing I.T. maintenance, I.T establishment facilities, cars, equipment, office supplies and all the repairs necessary.”

Police from specialized units, including homicide detectives will be assigned patrol duties at least one day per month, Police Chief Shaun Ferguson said, “You will see them out in the field as well, everyone having some kind of ownership in fighting crime and making our city safer.”

Keith Sanchez was named head of the public integrity bureau, replacing Chief Arlinda Westbrook. President of the Police Association of New Orleans, Mike Glasser says this move will improve retention.

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“We’re looking forward to this change and I think that’s going to make a huge difference, that’s the number one thing fueling our and that’s what’s going to make it stop," Glasser said.

Fausto Pichardo, a former New York Police Department patrol chief, now a consultant to NOPD spoke for the first time, said, “To do whatever I could in any capacity to help the men and women of the NOPD safe and certainly the people and residents of New Orleans.”

Right now the police department has less than 1000 officers, they should have more than 1600.

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