Over the objection of the Fraternal Order of Police, which called for using the money to increase officers’ salaries, the City Council voted Thursday to transfer more than $4 million in surplus cash from the New Orleans Police Department’s 2014 personnel budget to pay for other city obligations.
The council voted unanimously to transfer $2 million to Sheriff Marlin Gusman to help pay for court-ordered jail reforms and $2 million to the Fire Department for pension-related costs.
Another $250,000 is being shifted to the Chief Administrative Office budget to help pay for vehicle maintenance.
The Landrieu administration proposed moving the $2.25 million to the sheriff and CAO, while council President Stacy Head proposed moving the $2 million to the firefighters’ pension fund.
The transfer comes as the Police Department is struggling to recruit officers to fill its rapidly depleting ranks, creating a surplus because of unfilled positions.
Head said Thursday the surplus in the department’s budget existed even after officers were allowed to use “as much overtime as they could possibly want to use or be able to use.