Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over Police Shortage

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry declared a state of emergency over a shortage of law enforcement officers in the state. In an executive order on Friday, Landry announced the news, ensuring residents that he is working to restore law and order to the state.

“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,” he stated.

The order added that the “national police officer shortage has affected Louisiana with departments experiencing record-low employment and an increase in police officer response times resulting in an increased threat to the lives, property, and safety of persons within the state of Louisiana.”

Landry, who took office in January having been elected last year, further voiced the need for the legislature to consider a couple of measures, including restricting parole eligibility, categorizing illegal use of weapons as violent crime, increasing carjacking penalties and expanding the criteria to revoke probation and parole.

In his words, “This special session begins to fulfill the campaign promises we made to the people of Louisiana to make our State Safe Again. No one, regardless of their neighborhood or zip code, should feel unsafe. We all want safer communities. We will defend and uplift our law enforcement officials and deliver true justice to crime victims who have been overlooked for far too long.”

Landry’s order will stay in effect until the middle of March. In the meantime, lawmakers are scheduled to hold a special legislative session to address crime on Monday.

The governor’s declaration comes amid a nationwide struggle to recruit and retain police officers, an issue caused largely due to increasing crime and calls to “Defund the Police.”

Per the Louisiana Sheriffs Association, the state is short 1,800 deputies in July 2023.

Landry’s executive order was pleasing to the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, which said the order highlighted “the importance of the law enforcement profession and our state’s desperate need to fill valuable front line deputy positions.”

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