State of Emergency Declared Due to Police Shortage

State of Emergency Declared Due to Police Shortage

( – On February 15, Governor Jeff Landry (R-LA) announced his “state of emergency” regarding a severe law enforcement shortage. The order, effective from February 15 through March 15, eliminates the hiring limits for the state sheriff’s offices because of the need for about 1,800 new deputies throughout their state. The order also approves an increase in payroll for sheriff’s departments.

This order served as a prelude to the special session, which began on February 19, to address crime in the state. Landry, who previously worked in the law enforcement industry, stated that the emergency order and special session are required to support law enforcement and show the officers that they are supported as they return the rule of law to their state.

Law enforcement agencies in the nation have faced low morale, leading to a shortage of officers. Many blame the pandemic and hostile attitudes toward police stemming from the death of a Minneapolis man, George Floyd. Some small townships have closed their police offices in order to rely on other local law enforcement to provide coverage.

Resignations and retirements have been up nearly 50 percent in 2022 as compared with the same period in 2019, according to a 200-agency survey by the Police Executive Research Forum.

The Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association director, Michael Ranatza, stated his approval of Governor Landry’s work in supporting the profession of all law enforcers. He added that his state needs more deputies for the front-line positions as soon as possible.

Some of the legislation discussed prior to the special session focused on improving the restriction of parole eligibility, better execution methods, and increasing the penalties for some crimes.

Increased attention to crime in their state has been a goal of Governor Landry since Louisiana has recently obtained some of the highest rates of homicides in the nation. He used this fact as part of his platform when running for governor. With New Orleans having been given the honor to host the Super Bowl in 2025, the nation’s spotlight will be focused on their violent crime, unless they act now.

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