After years of falling short of its staffing goals, the New Orleans Police Department has exceeded this year’s target of 1,685 officers, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. With 59 recruits beginning their training this week, the department NOPD is expected to close out the year with 1,690 officers. New Orleans had 1,610 officers in early December 2003.
“Having met this goal, Superintendent (Eddie) Compass is very confident he can reach the proposed strength of 1,885 by the end of 2005,” with another academy class scheduled to begin in March, said police spokesman Marlon Defillo. As part of his plan to attract more police recruits, Mayor Ray Nagin budgeted $1.8 million in December 2003 to increase police pay by $2,000 a year. That boosted the salary for a new officer completing his first year to $34,450, an increase that went into effect July 1.