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NOPD Boosts Recruits, Training for New Cop Class
Heeding persistent calls from the Department of Justice and citizens, the NOPD is feverishly working to expand its forces. Chief Ronal Serpas introduced new recruits today, with Class #169 set to put more highly trained feet on the street.
Today, Mayor Mitch and Serpas met with Class #169 of the NOPD Training Academy. This is the second recruitment class since Serpas’ appointment by the Mayor.
“We are one of the few cities in America doing recruitment classes, while other cities are decreasing their forces, New Orleans is adding forces. In order for crime to go down, we need more officers and the city needs more resources to continue to add more officers,” explained Da' Mayor.
This new recruitment class will be held to a higher standard than its predecessors. Applicants must have at least 60 hours of college credit completed, or two years of full military service. There is also a newly instituted residency rule for the recruits. They will complete 910 hours of in-class training, as opposed to the previous 610.
The increased sensitivity training is a first step for advocacy organizations, and citizens of New Orleans who have complained about various issues such as NOPD's lack of tactical training, LGBTQ policies, and handling of cases involving mental illness.
New classes added to the training curriculum are “Introduction to Community Policing”, “Professional Performance Enhancement”, “Unbiased Professional Policing”, “Active Shooter Response”, and “Building Searches”. More intensive emphasis will be put on “Handling Domestic Violence Cases”, “Cultural Awareness” (that includes LGBT training), “Legal Use of Force” and “Handling Cases where Mentally-disturbed individuals are Involved”.
Recruits will be schooled on how to take victim’s reports, defensive driving, firearm target practice and the all-important being tased to familiarize themselves on the effect that amount of force has when being used in a situation that requires such measures. Recruits will complete a 25-week course, eight hours a day, Monday through Friday. Following the in-class, recruits will do four to six months of field training, putting them on the streets in approximately a year.
The make-up of Class #169 consists of 30 recruits, forty percent with military background, seventy percent holding college degrees and one with a Master’s degree.
Serpas boasted about the new program, and he took the opportunity to acknowledge his officers' busy schedules.
“This is when you want to be a part of the NOPD” said Serpas “Change is coming and you are going to be a part of it, a part of a great police department that handle such events like Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl, you are going to be a part of something great.”
There is an application process already underway for the next recruitment class that Serpas and da Mayor hope to see begin training before the year is out.
Legislation to raise property taxes to fund expansion of the police and fire departments passed unanimously in the House on Tuesday. House Bill 290 would raise the cap and allow the city to levy an additional $1 million of property tax and is forecast to bring in an additional $5.7 million per year to aid public safety departments.
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