City leaders hope pay increase will help boost morale, attract more officers to NOPD

NEW ORLEANS —Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced a 10 percent pay increase Friday for New Orleans police officers.

Officer pay had been a sticking point for the city’s police unions. The Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Association of New Orleans had been publicly critical of Landrieu over officer wages at the New Orleans Police Department.

“Of course there will be some negativity still out there,” FOP President Sgt. Walter Powers said. “The mass populous will be grateful. We are going in the right direction.”

Seventh District officer Christian Lacey spoke during the announcement Friday. She’s been with the NOPD for more than six years, but says protecting and serving often leaves her budget busted.

“There have been some financial difficulties. It was a stretch sometimes to make ends meet,” Lacey said. “I believe this is a blessing to myself and my family of fellow officers.”

Landrieu said public safety has always been a priority. He said a combination of a balanced budget, disciplined spending, new retail and increased property values has put an additional $14.6 million in the city’s coffers.

“This pay raise shows that the city is fully committed to investing in the men and women of the NOPD,” NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said. “Now we need the community to step up and join our ranks.”

Harrison believes more money will attract more candidates to the force as the NOPD works to increase manpower. He also believes it will slow the attrition rate on the force.