NEW ORLEANS — In an Eyewitness News exclusive, we attend one of the first New Orleans Police Department shift changes since the release of the redeployment plan.
Officers from all areas of the department are heading out on patrol to help with the staffing shortages.
The department has been struggling with dwindling numbers. Usually, the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift in the eighth district has five to six officers on each patrol, that number was almost double Tuesday night.
"A robust complement of officers will be hitting the streets of the eighth district tonight," Chief Deputy Superintendent Christopher Goodly said.
Mounted police, detectives, and administrative staff hit the streets to help combat crime.
The city's homicide rate is making national headlines. According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, the six homicides last week bring this year's total to 214.
"It's a symbol, it's a deliverable of what the consultants have brought in and we will see for the first time, people can see demonstrable evidence that the consultants have brought in change," Elizabeth Boh, from the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation said.
John Casbon, founder of the Police and Justice Foundation told Eyewitness News the department and the city are trying to reduce those numbers
"It's time to start the fight, it's time to get the streets safer and that's exactly what we're doing," Casbon said.
Tuesday, Eyewitness News was the only media outlet there for one of the first shift changes since the redeployment plan went into effect.
"As of that roll call, it was actually a beefed up or enhanced version of what the officers were dealing with on a daily basis," Chief Deputy Superintendent Goodly said
He said officer morale is on the upswing,
"Being able to serve and protect in an efficient and effective manner is key for success for our organization, so seeing those numbers beefed numbers in there boosted my morale as well," Goodly said.
This plan similar to the one implemented back in the 90s is hoping for the same success.
"We've got to get more people on the street and that's what we're doing," Casbon said.
After receiving their orders Tuesday night, officers headed out to respond to the inevitable calls in the eighth district.