NOPD Chief: More cops will be hitting streets

NOPD Chief: More cops will be hitting streets
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New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson today announced new deployments to put more officers on the street at a given time. The new shifts start this weekend.

"So starting this Sunday, as many as 75 more officers, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, will be on patrol," Ferguson said. "That will consist of officers who are assigned to administrative positions within our districts as well as our district investigative units."

Ferguson said they will be hiring more civilians to handle non-law enforcement duties that have been occupying officers' time. It's something members of the city council have been urging the department to do.

"Boosting the civilian workforce within police departments is becoming a best practice across the country for situations that do not require a commissioned police officer to respond," said City Council President Helena Moreno. "This will then free up commissioned officers to allow for improved deployment to respond to urgent calls for service."

The chief announced they're also changing some of their hiring rules, including no longer asking applicants about past marijuana use.

"Any questions with regards to marijuana usage prior to being hired or during the hiring process will no longer be of our interest," said Ferguson.

The chief said applicants will still be required to pass a drug tests, and use of illicit drugs by officers is prohibited.