Understaffed NOPD gets more applicants than can fit in classes, City Council told

By Naomi Martin, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on October 22, 2014 at 6:21 PM, updated October 22, 2014 at 6:22 PM

nola police recruitThe understaffed New Orleans Police Department has received more applications from qualified candidates than can fit into classes, which are capped at 30 under a federal court order, officials told City Council members Wednesday.

Superintendent Michael Harrison said he believed the academy could accommodate 40 to 50 recruits in each class without compromising quality. He said he plans to ask U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan, who is overseeing the department’s overhaul, to increase the allowed class size.

“That’s a great problem to have,” Council member Stacy Head said, in a nod to issues the NOPD has had recruiting enough qualified applicants.

Over the past year, two-thirds of applicants failed to meet the minimum requirements, which was most often the 60 hours of college education, according to department figures. Of those cleared to take the entrance exam, only half showed up, and then another 15 percent of those who passed the exam were disqualified by a background check.

The City Council’s criminal justice committee members said they would support amending the court order, or consent decree, to allow more officers to be trained at a time.

Read more here: http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/10/understaffed_nopd_receives_mor.html#incart_river

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