How to Become a Police Officer in New Orleans

New Orleans has a population of over 370,000 people and is an affordable city for cops to live.1 New Orleans’ cost of living is 1% lower than the national average and health care costs are 8% lower.2 New Orleans has a rich history in music and has other amenities like great food and scenery that residents and tourists can enjoy. The city would be a great place for a law enforcement officer to live.

Men and women wishing to become a part of the New Orleans Police Department will find information on the application, selection and training process below.

New Orleans Police Officer Requirements

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) employs more than 1,200 sworn officers and civilians.3 The Department has six bureaus: compliance, field operations, investigation and support, management services, office of the superintendent, and public integrity bureaus. Cops working for the NOPD earn an annual starting salary of $49,517 and $51,517 with a bachelor’s degree.4 To become an NOPD law enforcement officer, candidates must:

  • Be 20 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be honorably discharged from the military
  • Not have used marijuana within the past two years and not have used any other illegal drug within the past 10 years
  • Have no felony convictions, misdemeanors involving sexual offenses, nor any offenses involving the violation of civil rights
  • Not have a dissatisfactory driving record

All candidates must take a physical agility, multiple choice, and writing skills test. Hopeful cops have to undergo a urinalysis, background investigation, and a medical test. In some cases, an EKG stress test may be administered.

For more information about becoming a law enforcement officer in a city like New Orleans, check out 10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer on our home page. For more recruitiment information, visit NOPD’s recruitment page.

The Superintendent of the NOPD is Michael S. Harrison. Superintendent Harrison has been with the Department over 23 years and was promoted to superintendent in 2014. Mr. Harrison has served as a detective of narcotics, sergeant in the Eighth District, a supervisor, and a commander. Superintendent Harrison has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Phoenix and a master’s in criminal justice from Loyola University.

New Orleans Police Department Information

Each of the NOPD’s eight districts is led by a commander. The Department’s proposed budget for 2014 was $128,616,499, $877,832 of which was for personnel costs.5 Nearly 800 sworn officers are assigned to the field operations bureau, the most of any other bureau.5 Cops can work in a multitude of different units under the field operations bureau, which include:

  • Armory unit
  • Bomb disposal unit
  • Civil rights and force investigations branch
  • DWI
  • Extradition unit
  • K-9 unit
  • Search and rescue/marine unit
  • Tactical platoons 1 & 2
  • Traffic fatality unit
  • Violent offender warrant squad

New Orleans Police Training Academy

NOPD recruits attend the New Orleans Police Training Academy for 26 weeks and 886.5 hours of training.6 Training topics include:

  • Becoming a professional peace officer
  • Domestic and family matters
  • Firearms
  • First aid
  • Investigations
  • Legal aspects
  • Officer survival
  • Orientation to criminal justice
  • Patrol activities
  • Physical training
  • Report writing
  • Specialized activities
  • Traffic services
  • Use of force

In December 2014, 22 new police officers graduated from the New Orleans Police Training Academy.7

New Orleans Police Salary and Jobs Outlook

More than 3,700 cops are employed in the New Orleans metropolitan area and they earn an average annual salary of $39,320.8. The number of cops in the state of Louisiana is projected to increase by 9.6% between now and 2022, amounting to about 480 new law enforcement jobs.9 The number of new law enforcement officers hired largely depends on the city’s budget and the number of police officers who retire during the year.

To view open listings for police officers in New Orleans, visit our jobs board page.

More Information on the New Orleans Police Department and Crime

Every police district has at least one assigned Quality of Life officer. These officers provide a connection between the community and police department and direct citizens to the correct city department when assistance is needed. In addition, The NOPD has a Citizen’s Police Academy for city residents over the age of 21. In this eight-week Academy, citizens will gain a better understanding of operations of the police department. Topics that are covered in the Citizen’s Academy include communication, community service programs, public integrity, crime lab, duties of a judge, and education and training.

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NOPDOfficial
Twitter: @OrleansPolice

Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters
1300 Perdido St
New Orleans, LA 70112

Additional Resources

1. US Census Bureau, New Orleans, LA: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/neworleanscitylouisiana/PST045217
2. Sperling’s Best Places, New Orleans, LA: https://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/louisiana/new_orleans
3. City of New Orleans: https://www.nola.gov/nopd/about-us/
4. City of New Orleans, Police Recruiting: https://www.nola.gov/nopd/join-the-nopd/
5. NOPD Budget Presentation, 2014: https://www.nola.gov/getattachment/NOPD/Reform-and-Publications/2014-NOPD-Budget-Final-11-2013.pptx/
6. City of New Orleans, Mayor Landrieu, Chief Harrison Welcome New NOPD Recruit Class: https://www.nola.gov/nopd/press-releases/2015/20150112-mayor-landrieu,-chief-harrison-welcome-ne/
7. City of New Orleans, Chief Harrison Puts 22 More Officers on the Street: https://www.nola.gov/nopd/press-releases/2014/20141215-chief-harrison-puts-22-more-officers-on-t/
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New Orleans: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_35380.htm
9. Projections Central: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm