The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) has achieved a historic milestone by graduating a class of laterals Friday (November 17, 2023). This is the first lateral class in 25 years.
The graduation of the three officers is a pivotal moment for the NOPD, highlighting its dedication to bolstering its ranks with experienced professionals.
Laterals are officers from other law enforcement agencies that transfer to NOPD. The graduating officers successfully completed a specialized, abbreviated 10-week police academy training program with a curriculum geared toward their skill level. Collectively, they bring over 50 years of knowledge and experience to the department, enriching the force with their diverse backgrounds and proven track records in law enforcement.
- Officer Pierce Henderson, a native of Louisiana, served with the St. James Parish Sheriff's Office for 12 years.
- Officer William Roniger, also from Louisiana, served with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office for one year and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office for 19 years.
- Officer Jane Morrison, originally from Illinois, served six years with the South Elgin Police Department and ten years with the Kane County Sheriff's Office before moving to Louisiana and serving two years with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office.
Also, earlier this week, two former NOPD officers were reinstated.
“This influx of seasoned professionals is a testament to the NOPD's ongoing efforts to attract and retain top-tier talent. It also demonstrates the department's commitment to creating an attractive and rewarding career path for law enforcement professionals,” said Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick. “Standards remain high at the New Orleans Police Department, and my commitment is only the best of the best will join this team that is already the best of the best.”
As the department continues prioritizing recruitment and retention, these recent developments strongly indicate the NOPD's positive trajectory and dedication to strengthening the force with talented and experienced personnel.
"Today marks a bright day for the New Orleans Police Department and for broader safety and collaboration in our community," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "For the first time in 25 years, NOPD welcomed three lateral officers from partner law enforcement agencies across Louisiana, and as far as Illinois, to our city. These lateral transfers represent another way the NOPD is being intentional, innovative, and proactive with its recruitment efforts to ensure increased manpower and protection for our residents and visitors. My administration will continue to engage in a holistic, multi-agency approach to combat crime and keep our communities safe.”
The NOPD looks forward to the valuable contributions and leadership these experienced officers will bring to the department as they join the NOPD family in serving the citizens of New Orleans.