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New Orleans Hires Consultant to Help Fill Thinning Police Ranks, Improve Safety

New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell recently announced the hiring of two top consultants from the NYPD and an $80 million salary and benefit plan to lure fresh New Orleans Police Department recruits and keep current cops, a redeployment to tackle alarming 911 response times, The New Orleans Advocate reports. While the cost will largely be covered by federal pandemic relief funds, the package could run into competing priorities at the City Council, which must approve the plan. Some council members who have pushed for actions such as adding civilians to the force are skeptical that throwing money at cops will be enough to keep them on the job. The police force has dipped below 1,000 cops for the first time in decades. As numbers have dwindled, 911 response times have soared to a 31-minute average for high-priority emergency calls. Fausto Pichardo, the NYPD’s chief of patrols until 2020, and former assistant commissioner Thomas Conforti, have been brought on to advise.

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