As residents complain, is it time to re-align the NOPD? - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

As residents complain, is it time to re-align the NOPD?


A New Orleans woman is upset that it took police a full day to respond to her repeated calls for help after her mother's home was broken into off Airline Highway.

Police say it points to the need for additional manpower.

It happened on Monday. Catina Williams' daughter discovered the family home was broken into, and three flat-screen TVs were gone. Burglars had busted one window on the left side of the home, but decided a rear window on the right would give easier access.

"She said it sounded like somebody was in the bathroom because her dog kept barking," said Williams, who says she called police 40 times.

"They said they had a shooting, and when they got that straightened out, they would come out, but they never came until Wednesday morning," she said.

"We are way far from fully staffed, and that's getting worse every day," said Police Association of New Orleans President Michael Glasser. "We're 500 cops short now."

"Many districts have two or three officers on the shift," said Tulane criminologist Peter Sharf.

This weekend, 33 NOPD officers will be promoted to sergeant. It's normally an administrative job, but sources say because of the manpower shortage, the officers will remain on their normal patrols, while assuming new responsibilities.

"The department is going to have to be realigned, and everyone that isn't essential will be in patrol pretty soon, because we're not going to be able to provide basic service if we don't," said Glasser.

Though Williams said it took two days to get crime lab to her home, she says they found some evidence that she hopes will help them build a good case.

"They had blood on the blinds, and they took a sample, and dusted for fingerprints," she said.

Police chief Ronal Serpas sent FOX 8 a statement, saying:

"Our residents should feel confident that their concerns will be addressed when calling the police department and we will investigate this complaint. The nopd is focused on finding the necessary resources for our officers to respond quickly...but we must also have resources for detectives and pro active units to interrupt crime before it happens.' as for realignment, Serpas said 'The department is consistently realigning officers, to address both answering calls and fighting crime."

New Orleans police say the blood samples collected from the Williams' home will be sent off for analysis. 

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