VIDEO: New Orleans Chief Asks for New Vehicles, Body Cameras
New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas on Wednesday presented to the New Orleans City Council his budget for 2014. Included in the $135 million budget is the purchase of equipment such as body cameras to be worn by all officers, WWL TV reports.
There’s also the purchase of new police vehicles. It's the first time since 2009 the NOPD has been able to buy new fleet vehicles. City Council Vice President Stacy Head told Serpas several officers complained to her about the state of their police equipment.
Serpas told the council the new fleet vehicles will be an upgrade. "By the end of the year, every officer who answers a call for service in your neighborhoods will be in a new Ford Explorer equipped with the latest technology that comes along with it," said Serpas.
The new vehicles are part of incentives Serpas will have to settle for. The issue of pay raises for the department's officers was discussed but the chief and most council members conceded that it likely remains a hypothetical. Council member Cynthia Hedge-Morrell broached the idea of providing 30 percent pay raises to officers that ranked below captain.
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The police chief told the city council on Wednesday that implementation could be costly.