Budget cuts in BR cut down on police hires, recruit hunts
BATON ROUGE- The Baton Rouge Police Department is holding its first hiring academy in more than a year because of budget cuts. And the thin bottom line for 2011 kept the training for experienced officers scaled back to just six recruits out of 100 that applied.
Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Stone said, "Like everywhere across the country, we have budget restraints and we have to hire those that we can afford."
BRPD is short almost 50 officers, but the 2011 budget only allows for eight new hires. The vacancies, either retirements, firings or resignations for other jobs, have piled up as money to fill them dropped, making it hard to catch up.
Terence Noah, a former Lafourche Parish Sheriff's deputy, says he's lucky to be on of the few new hires at the department in more than a year.
"I'm gonna get out here and just attack the streets and work the best I can with everybody else," he said.
If all six make it through training, the department is still short 43 positions. There's no guarantee there will be another academy this year.