Recruiting new first responders to join the police, fire and EMS departments in Orleans Parish looks to get a boost following action taken by the New Orleans City Council Thursday, which voted 6 to 1 to relax a rule that required NOPD, NOFD and EMS workers to live in Orleans Parish.
The lone no vote came from councilman James Gray, but a few of the council members who voted for the change noted it was not intended to be a quick fix to recruitment issues, especially in the New Orleans Police Department.
The the long-standing policy was suspended for seven years after Hurricane Katrina before going back into effect last year. It was initially approved based on the idea that city workers who live in New Orleans are more invested in their community.
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says the change will "provide for a larger pool of applicants" for police jobs, including lateral hires from nearby law enforcement agencies.