NOLA Coalition Statement on Administration Plan to Support NOPD

Last week, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced a significant plan to support the New Orleans Police Department and public safety.  The proposal includes $80M in new salary and benefits to recruit and retain officers; reassignments to place more officers on the street; leadership changes at the Public Integrity Bureau; and, additional improvements as recommended by experts from the New York City Police Department.
The NOLA Coalition, representing a diverse cross-section of over 400 New Orleans organizations, recognizes the urgency of our situation, and believes this plan includes concrete steps towards a better working environment for our officers, and safer streets for our residents.  Many elements of the Mayor’s plan reflect the Coalition’s priorities, including:  Improving Recruiting & Retention; Improving Pay & Benefits; and, Optimizing Resources.
At the same time, the Coalition sees the need for more detail on the plan, specifically on how some elements, such as civilianization, will be implemented; and, how the pay and benefits increases will be sustained over time.
Finally, while support for NOPD is central to the Coalition’s two-part plan, other elements are equally critical, including accountability and coordination across the entire criminal justice system; and, investment in youth services, to drive generational change.
Big moves towards better pay, enhanced working conditions, and smarter resourcing are welcome.  The NOLA Coalition is hopeful that last week’s announcement represents a first step towards a detailed strategy and implementation plan, for sustained reform and safety.