Extra troopers to remain in NOLA through 2015
BATON ROUGE - State troopers are headed back to New Orleans to help police handle crime, a move Baton Rouge city leaders say will cost them nearly a million dollars.
Starting today 60 troopers will head to the Big Easy, where they will stay for the rest of the year. New Orleans tourism offered up $2.5 million to pay and house the extra manpower.
"My direction from Governor Jindal was to find a way to send extra help to New Orleans without hurting other parts of the state," said Superintendent Mike Edmonson, "and find a way to not spend public dollars to do so."
The New Orleans Police Department says they need extra help as they battle a spike in violence in the middle of a manpower shortage. However, the East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office says Baton Rouge shouldn't be responsible for the extra patrols, especially when it's taking cash from the city.
"We saw a revenue loss of $800,000," said EBR District Attorney, Hillar Moore. "That's a lot of money for one year. I anticipate we'll lose even more this year with how much time State Police is spending in Orleans Parish."
Col. Edmonson says his priority is public safety and his troopers go where they're needed most. He says the police department in New Orleans has two classes in training right now that will put them at 1,100 officers, still 300 short of where they want to be.
A total of 60 state troopers from around the state will remain in New Orleans throughout 2015.