Council grapples with ways to improve NOPD response time - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Council grapples with ways to improve NOPD response time

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - New Orleans City Council members are tackling a wide range of issues as they try and improve police response times.

At a Council Criminal Justice Committee hearing, members were told that the city's 911 call center was answering calls at a rate slower than the 20-second standard.

They were also told, however, that the call center has gotten permission to raise the number of 911 operators from 37 to 55. But many don't believe it's enough. Council members are barraged with daily horror stories about poor 911 response and its impact on crime.

Councilwoman Cynthia Morrell says one of her constituents was even shot and paralyzed while waiting for someone to respond.

The city's police associations say it's a matter of numbers. Some believe that attrition could cause the department to drop below 1100 officers by the end of this year - despite two new recruiting classes. The police association says it's time to boost police pay and drastically revamp the city's Office of Police Secondary Employment, which it says has cut into police detail availability and pay, and is contributing to the high attrition rate.

Councilwoman Susan Guidry says it's time to lift the residency requirement to boost recruitment. Others suggest lifting the requirement for 60 college credits.

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