Louisiana Gov Announces State Of Emergency Over Police Shortage

Republican Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry declared a state of emergency Thursday due to a police officer shortage.

The executive order lifts restrictions on the number of new employees Louisiana sheriffs can hire and on payroll increases for police departments, according to The Associated Press. The state is “experiencing a police officer staff crisis” which has resulted in “an increased threat to the lives, property, and safety of persons within the state of Louisiana,” according to the executive order.

“As a former police officer and sheriff’s deputy, I understand the vital role our law enforcement officers play in our communities. Currently, our state is facing a shortage of officers, resulting in increased crime and less public safety. Today’s executive order, and the upcoming crime special session, will ensure our law enforcement officers are supported and we can begin to bring law and order back to our state,” Landry said in a Thursday press release.

“We applaud Governor Landry for highlighting the importance of the law enforcement profession and our state’s desperate need to fill valuable front line deputy positions,” Michael Ranatza, executive director of Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, said in the press release.

The state will be convening a special session to address crime in the state on Feb. 19 that will last until March 6, according to the AP.

Sheriff’s offices in the state were down 1,800 deputies as of July 2023, Landry said in the press release.

Police officer resignations in the U.S. were up 47% in 2022, compared to 2019, according to data provided to the AP from a survey of almost 200 police agencies by the Police Executive Research Forum, a independent research organization focusing on police issues. Retirements of police officers were up 19% in 2022, compared to 2019.

Brandon Poulter on February 16, 2024

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