Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry declares state of emergency over lack of police officers

 February 19, 2024

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry has declared a state of emergency because of a severe shortage of police officers that has created a dangerous situation for citizens.

Landry's order was issued on Thursday, and he said, "Currently, our state is facing a shortage of officers, resulting in increased crime and less public safety."

According to research from the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, the state is short approximately 1,800 deputies, which means that officers who are on the force are overworked and response times to emergencies are growing longer, all representing is serious concerns.

The order removes limits on how many new employees Louisiana sheriffs can hire in order to try and boost deputy numbers. The order also prescribes payroll increases for sheriff's departments around the state.

Michael Ranatza, executive director of the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, welcomed the order saying, "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."

The past few years have seen movements to slash law enforcement budgets and capabilities, and the result has been predictable. Response times are increasing, and officers are overworked and stressed out, leading to more problems.