‘It’s alarming’: New Orleans police hiring civilians to respond to non-emergency 911 calls

Police in the United States are suffering right now, but the New Orleans Police Department’s way of dealing with short-staffing is causing some concern in their community.

Attorney Laura Rodrigue is currently working to unseat New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and she joined “Fox and Friends First” to discuss how the policy is causing anxiety among the populace.

“Resorting to hiring civilians to respond to crime scenes is alarming to the residents and should be alarming throughout the country,” she explained. “They came out and said that civilians will be responding to non-emergency calls that come in through 911.”

The kinds of “non-emergency” calls Rodrigue claims the civilian respondents would be answering require intense training to handle properly.

“The problem with that is within the last year, NOPD received over 100 calls for first-degree rape, first-degree rape being the most serious rape in Louisiana, carrying a mandatory life sentence, and they classified those as non-emergency,” the attorney continued. “So that should be alarming to people to think that a case or a call that comes in for something serious could be classified as non-emergency.”

In addition to responding to calls, the civilians will also fill administrative roles and even shadow detectives, which will reportedly allow for more uniformed officers to be on the streets.

The anemic New Orleans Police Department saw an exodus of 150 officers just in 2021, so it’s no wonder they are hurting for help. They have even made an effort to scale back their requirements for civilian entrants, including overlooking past marijuana use and poor credit scores.

This comes after New Orleans was on track to become the murder capital of the United States under the leadership of Cantrell, whom people accused in July of not caring about those living in her city.

Like many other large cities, New Orleans has seen crime skyrocket as police struggle to keep up with the workload. Democratic City Councilman Eugene Green said at the time that it would be incredibly hard for Cantrell to address the increasing murder rate because there was almost “a murder a day.”

“It’s hard to make a statement every day,” he admitted.

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