As many as 10 New Orleans police officers suspected of going AWOL during Hurricane Katrina interviewed with the Dallas Police Department and were rejected after they came up short on the loyalty issue, said Dallas police officials quoted by the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Dallas Deputy Chief Floyd Simpson said a rigorous screening process exposed about 10 prospective police recruits from the New Orleans Police Department as possible “deserters.”
“When you are read and take an oath of office and you do not fulfill that office, that’s an issue for us,” Simpson said, “and it should be an issue for law enforcement in general.” New Orleans police spokesman Capt. Marlon Defillo said an investigation into “a small segment” of officers who failed to report to duty is under way, and that the number of suspected deserters is many fewer than the 250 reportedly AWOL officers the department initially suspected. So far, no officers have been fired or suspended for leaving their posts. The Dallas Police Department is trying to hire 250 police officers, and said a couple of New Orleans police officers who applied have clean records and will continue to the next level of the hiring process.