By Chris Miller | WWL Radio | October 19, 2020
City officials say they can furlough police officers, fire fighters, and paramedics without endangering public safety, but a local crime watchdog thinks the math just isn’t there.
Police chief Shaun Ferguson says it won’t be easy, but they can schedule officers around furlough days.
“The men and women of the New Orleans Police Department are committed to doing their job and that’s to keep a safe environment for everyone,” said New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson. “We do not really see any concerns with regards to our response time.”
But New Orleans Metro Crime Commission President Rafael Goyeneche says it’s a risky gambit.
“We’re going to be playing Russian Roulette and hoping there aren’t going to be significant crime spurts in all of this,” Goyeneche argued. “When they dial 911, there may not be a police officer to respond to those calls.”
Goyeneche says NOPD is still recovering from the Landrieu hiring freeze, as officers are forced to take unpaid days off.