College requirement nixed for New Orleans police recruits
NEW ORLEANS - In a move to beef up police ranks, the chief of the troubled police department has done away with a requirement for recruits to have 60 hours of college education or two years of military experience.
Police Superintendent Michael Harrison on Monday made his case before the Civil Service Commission and it voted 4-0 to scrap the requirements. The board oversees policy for public employees.
Ending the requirement is seen by critics as a dangerous step backward from efforts to overhaul the NOPD. The college or military background experience was instituted in 2010. The department is being monitored under a federal consent decree.
Harrison argues the rule change is necessary if the department wants to add hundreds of new officers to eliminate what it sees as a serious staffing shortage.
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