The New Orleans Police Department is not the only local law enforcement agency having trouble recruiting enough qualified applicants to fill positions.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand tells Rush Radio recruiting continues to be a challenge for his department.
"It's harder today than it was when I started. Not as many people aspire to be a police, fire, EMS," Normand said.
The sheriff says one reason recruiting is challenging is the pay that he can offer.
The annual starting salary for a fulltime deputy is $36,000. After one year, a deputy will receive an additional $6,000 in state supplemental pay for a total of $42,000. But it doesn't go far.
"With the cost of living today, $42,000 sounds like a lot of money, but, you know, it really isn't," Normand said.
With JPSO salaries funded primarily with sales tax revenues, the key to raising salaries, says Normand, is to have a more vibrant local economy.
"We gotta bring in new companies, new jobs, new growth, like every other metropolitan area in order to succeed," Normand added.