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Louisiana governor declares state of emergency due to police shortage

Louisiana sheriffs’ offices are down approximately 1,800 deputies statewide, with police response times slowing as a result.
Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry
Posted at 3:52 PM, Feb 19, 2024

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry has declared a state of emergency due to a police officer shortage in the state.

Louisiana sheriffs’ offices are down approximately 1,800 deputies statewide, according to the Louisiana Sheriffs' Association. Employment is at a record low, and police response times have slowed as a result. 

“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 press release.

Michael Ranatza, executive director of the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, thanked the governor for addressing the vital need for officers.

“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,” Ranatza said in a press release. 

Part of Landry’s campaign for governor last year was a promise to combat crime in the state. In 2023, Louisiana was ranked the least-safe state in the country by Wallethub.

“Unequivocally we have a crime problem,” Landry had said during his campaign. “I understand Louisiana and understand what’s at stake. Enough is enough.”