New Orleans PD begins filling more civilian jobs after slow hiring start
The department has filled 22 of its planned 50 new civilian jobs, a move intended to free up LEOs to focus on crime
By Gabriella Killett
The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate
NEW ORLEANS — After a slow hiring start, the understaffed New Orleans Police Department has filled 22 of its planned 50 new civilian jobs, a move intended to free up commissioned law enforcement officers to focus on serious crime, the Civil Service Commission confirmed this week.
The jobs were posted in September, when the agency's 974 officers were toiling amid a year-long wave of violent crime and steady exits by their colleagues. By early March, the Police Department headcount was down to 944 and only three of the new civilian jobs were filled.
Interim Superintendent Michelle Woodfork said Wednesday that 45 civilians have been hired, in all police units, since the beginning of the year. "The NOPD is moving forward with a reenergized commitment and dedication," she Woodfork.
[EARLIER: Only 3 hires for 50 civilian positions at NOPD since September]
Twenty-two of those employees have been placed into one of two new positions: intake specialist and investigative specialist. Eighteen are intake specialists, four investigative specialists. Other hires in established positions include technicians, crime laboratory personnel and social services, the Police Department said.
Intake specialists, with starting salaries of $39,893 a year, take phone calls and write incident reports on non-emergency crimes. They also may investigate these crimes, although they are not authorized to carry guns or make arrests. Another 128 qualified applicants are in the queue for openings, according to Police Department records.
Investigative specialists, with starting salaries of $49,889, work in more depth in five divisions: Field Operations Bureau, Public Integrity Bureau, Special Victims Unit, Alternative Police Response and Applicant Investigation. Police said 54 qualified applicants remain.
The civilianization of some Police Department duties has long been recommended as part of the agency's federal consent decree.
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