NOPD

New Orleans is beginning another round of recruiting police officers. Officials are hoping the efforts will bring the ranks up from under 1,200 to 1,600.

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas and Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced the next recruitment drive will be aimed at military veterans and faith-based groups.

Serpas says the department has the funding and will search nationwide for new recruits.

NOPD

The New Orleans Police Department has identified 20-year-old Justin Odom as a person of interest in last Sunday's shooting on Bourbon Street that injured 10 people.

Update: Brittany Thomas, a 21-year-old who had been in critical condition at Interim LSU Hospital since being struck Sunday, has died. The Orleans Parish Coroner's Office says she was pronounced dead at 2:44 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2.

EarthCam

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to provide updates on last weekend's Bourbon Street shooting that left 10 people wounded.

Landrieu says he asked Governor Bobby Jindal to send 100 state troopers to New Orleans to patrol on a permanent basis, and the mayor called on citizens to work with police to help find those responsible for the shooting.

New Orleans police are still searching for two men who exchanged gunfire on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.

Nine people were shot in the crossfire, including two who are in critical condition.

Images captured from a surveillance camera above a bar showed people running down the street in the chaos of the shooting at 2:45 a.m. Sunday.

New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas said six victims were hospitalized in stable condition. 

The other victim's condition wasn't available. Some of them were tourists. Their names weren't immediately released.

New Orleans police are investigating a shooting on Bourbon Street that injured nine people, two critically. Two men opened fire, injuring bystanders.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says three officers were patrolling the area when gunfire erupted early Sunday morning.

He says it started with two men arguing, then opening fire. He says eyewitnesses are being interviewed and video surveillance tapes are being reviewed. The shooting was only a few blocks from Jackson Square and among several popular bars on the crowded street.

New Orleans police have apprehended a man suspected of killing an officer.
Janet Wilson / WWNO

The New Orleans Police department will conduct a sobriety checkpoint Thursday night, the department announced in a press release.

The checkpoint will begin at approximately 9 p.m. on the night of June 26, and last until about 5 a.m. the nest morning. NOPD is required to disclose the existence of checkpoints ahead of time, but not their location.

Drivers are advised to have proper documentation on them, such as a driver's license and proof of insurance, but should only experience minimal delays.

New Orleans police have apprehended a man suspected of killing an officer.
Janet Wilson / WWNO

The New Orleans Police Department will conduct a sobriety checkpoint beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday, June 19, the department said in a press release.

The checkpoint will last until approximately 5 a.m. Friday morning. Drivers are cautioned to have proper documentation, including proof of insurance and a driver's license, and should only experience minimal delays.

"I would like to remind all drivers to always drink responsibly and use a designated driver," NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas was quoted as saying.

Kate Richardson

Federal officials and citizens alike have been calling on the New Orleans Police Department to hire more officers and rethink its approach to handling 911 calls for service. In response, city officials have lifted some restrictions on residency and former drug use to join NOPD. Right now the department has about 1,150 officers, and hopes to add at least a hundred more by year's end.

NOPD is also actively recruiting potential candidates with events like a recent job fair at Langston Hughes Academy.

New Orleans police have apprehended a man suspected of killing an officer.
Janet Wilson / WWNO

Requirements are changing to join the New Orleans Police Department.

The New Orleans Advocate is reporting the Civil Service Commission has relaxed the department’s drug policy. Applicants no longer have to declare a life that’s been free of past illegal drug use.

The change coincides with a shift adopted by the FBI about seven years ago.

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says the rule change reflects that some otherwise qualified applicants may have used some illegal drugs in the past.

New Orleans is making progress toward losing the "murder capital" label. For a second straight year, homicides declined in the city, in keeping with a nationwide trend.

For African-Americans in the city, though, the numbers are less comforting. Of the nearly 350 killings in the past two years, 91 percent of the victims have been black. It's a cycle that's worrisome to the city's African-American community — and law enforcement.

Pages