Mitch Landrieu Was Warned Years Ago Of NOPD Problems Currently Haunting New Orleans

In the past year, there have been nothing but headlines sweeping the city of New Orleans, discussing how the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) is out of money, low on man-power and how violent crime is on the upswing under Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s watch.

The way Landrieu’s administration has either dealt or not dealt with the crime and NOPD problem in the city makes it seems like a surprise. But, an investigation by WWL-TV proves that is not the case.

In emails obtained by WWL’s Mike Perlstein, Landrieu was warned multiple times of NOPD shortages and issues by former NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

The emails from Serpas take an alarming tone around the time of the fall 2011 budget hearings, when Serpas was informed that not only was he not getting extra money to hire new officers, but his personnel budget was actually getting cut.

At the time, NOPD troop strength stood at about 1,350, but Serpas was told he was only being budgeted for 1,250 officers in 2012. The bad news came from NOPD Deputy Superintendent and budget chief Stephanie Landry in a Sept. 23 email.

After the alarming news, Serpas responded in an email back to the administration, saying that the NOPD would become a “reactive” police department so long as the shortage of funding continues.

In 2011, Serpas sent another email to Landrieu’s administration, discussing his agenda for ramping up NOPD man-power and new law enforcement programs to keep particular communities safe. But, officials within landrieu’s administration responded back to Serpas and essentially alerted him that his plan was wishful-thinking and they also questioned Serpas’ concern that the NOPD lacked man-power.

To Landrieu’s administration, the NOPD was not doing all that bad in 2011, despite Serpas’ warnings.

Besides Serpas warning ahead of time that the NOPD’s sex crime units were inadequate, the renowned police superintendent warned Landrieu’s office about the lack of NOPD presence in the French Quarter as far back as 2012.

Since, there have been headlines weekly about how the French Quarter is inadequately handled by law enforcement in the city, prompting businessman Sidney Torres to step in and create a mobile crime app and pay off-duty officers to patrol the tourist area.

Despite all these warnings, NOPD has nearly but crumpled under Landrieu.

Landrieu promised to hire 150 new NOPD recruits when he took office for his second-term. However, Landrieu has only been able to add about 78 new NOPD officers to the force, making his recruitment campaign somewhat of a failure. Landrieu is still pushing for 1,600 NOPD officers by the time he leaves office. Currently, the NOPD has about 1,105 officers.

Within WWL’s investigative report on the matter, Landrieu’s office portrayed the mayor as sort of saving the city from bankruptcy, saying that New Orleans would have ended up like Detroit if it were not for Landrieu.



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