Dem City Hires Civilians To Fight Crime


The New Orleans Police Department has hired civilians to assist with force staffing and to allow more officers to patrol streets during violent crimes like murder spikes.

“The goal is for our officers to feel safe, so they can make our citizens and visitors feel safe,” New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said Thursday at a press conference.

Ferguson stated that the department’s main focus is on the recruitment of civilian police intake specialists. These will be responsible for monitoring the phones and replacing administrative officers. In addition to civilian police officers, the department will hire 50-75 civilian police officers who can respond to calls that don’t require them. WDSU reports that some civilians will be trained in detective work.

“As we take calls over the phone, there may be some evidence that needs to be collected with that call. We’ll have civilian investigators to go out and collect that evidence instead of an officer having to go out there and collect that evidence,” Ferguson said.

According to WDSU, police will no longer be called upon for incidents like loose animals, medical emergencies, and accidents on private property.

New Orleans overtook St. Louis, Missouri, as the murder capital of the country this month, notching 52 homicides per 100,000 residents as of Sept. 11. Homicides have increased by 78% this year compared to 2021, according to data from crime-tracking organization Metropolitan Crime Commission. Homicides are up 121% this year when compared to 2019.

Ferguson stated that the plan to increase the force’s staff, which has lost 150 officers in the last year, will also include recruiting former applicants who were rejected previously.

“My message to you — to those of you [who] may have been disqualified in the past, I’m urging you to resubmit your application because some of our hiring criteria has changed,” Ferguson said, noting that some changes have been made to the hiring process, such as not allowing credit scores to affect a hiring decision.

Before they can join the Police Department, civilians must undergo training and background checks.

“This is also to reduce some of the workload currently placed on our patrol and district personnel but most importantly to reduce response times,” Ferguson added.

The plan will ultimately allow for at least 75 additional officers to patrol the streets and will cut down on the average 11-minute response time to priority calls.