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New Orleans Is Taking Playing Cops and Robbers to a Whole New Level With This Idea

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

When growing up and in elementary school, I remember there was usually a paper we answered questions to around first grade. It had questions such as ‘What is your favorite holiday?’, ‘I love my parents because ___’, and ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’.

That last question is one that I vividly remember and having children and being involved in schools it’s clear that this is a question that is almost always asked at some point. Answers vary, but there is always a mainstream majority of answers such as doctors, astronauts, and police. In addition to that, in the playground, there were lots of fun made-up games we would play such as tag, hide and seek, or cops and robbers.

Well, as of now it seems if your childhood dream was to be a police officer, or you played cops and robbers as a child, you may get to live out those childhood dreams and play with the big boys in New Orleans – sort of.

New Orleans is going to desperate lengths to combat its off-the-charts kill rate amid a serious police staffing lack — including employing regular citizens to send out to crime locations to gather evidence – qualified or not. Regular everyday citizens additionally will replace a few police officers that are currently on administrative obligation with the goal that the officials can make a beeline for the mean streets of the Big Easy — presently the leading homicide capital of the US, as per other news outlets.

“The goal is for our officers to feel safe so they can make our citizens and visitors feel safe,” New Orleans Police Director Shaun Ferguson said in a public interview last week.

As well as recruiting nonmilitary personnel experts to screen telephones and perform administrative obligations, around 50 to 75 will be enrolled to answer a few minor calls — and, surprisingly, prepared to accomplish some criminal investigator work, the top cop said.

“As we take calls over the phone, there may be some evidence that needs to be collected with that call,” Ferguson said. “We’ll have civilian investigators to go out and collect that evidence instead of an officer having to go out there and collect that evidence.”

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However, many are not as convinced as Ferguson would like to believe. Many are concerned that this is going to be nothing more than a recipe for a huge disaster with some individuals leaving comments such as “Because social workers are NOT trained in forensics. Odd that you think evidence-collection and procedures require no professional training.” with another user commenting “They have messed up their cities so bad they need the people who pay their salaries via taxes to do their jobs for them.”

The division, which lost 150 police from its positions last year, is encouraging past police candidates who were dismissed to give it another attempt.

“My message to you,” Ferguson said, “to those of you who may have been disqualified in the past, I’m urging you to resubmit your application because some of our hiring criteria have changed.”

It sounds like New Orleans is truly hurting and things may look bleak, but perhaps this can be seen as an example or prelude of what things would be like if we were to defund the police. Perhaps it’s time – and long overdue – to show a little appreciation to the blue line.