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NOLA mayor: No Mardi Gras if more police officers aren’t hired

“If our officers cannot be safe, then there’s no way that our city will be safe,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell


New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is seen smiling on the steps of Gallier Hall as the Krewe of Freret parade passed viewing stands on Feb. 19, 2022.

Photo/Amy Harris/Invision/Associated Press

By Leila Merrill

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at a town hall meeting Thursday night that without enough public safety employees, the city’s next Mardi Gras and carnival season may be canceled.

“If we don’t have adequate police, it could mean that there will be no Mardi Gras — and that’s a fact. If our officers cannot be safe, then there’s no way that our city will be safe,” Cantrell told WGNO.

The New Orleans Police Department currently has the lowest commissioned officers in recent decades. The mayor said that the police department is working on recruitment and retention, but an influx of police retirements, as well as trouble with the recruitment of new officers, has led to the staffing shortage, according to

“Look, you know I don’t want to cancel no Mardi Gras, no not at all,” Cantrell said. “But when it comes to jeopardizing the safety of the men and women who make that ultimate sacrifice and kiss their families when they leave every day and hope to come home at night or in the morning, they are the priority.”

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