New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson called it “disheartening” that a police officer assigned to patrol the French Quarter last weekend notified his supervisor by text message that he was quitting the force and walked off the job.
Superintendent Ferguson said the officer, who had been a member of the police force for three years, was assigned to the Eight District and was supposed to be patrolling the French Quarter and the Central Business District (CBD) on July 22 when he quit, WVUE reported.
“It was disheartening, especially knowing the oath we take,” New Orleans’ top cop told reporters during a press conference at police headquarters on July 26.
“He abandoned his post,” he continued. “He just walked out on his brothers and sisters in blue. He abandoned the citizens of New Orleans. He abandoned this department.”
But the 23-year-old former officer that Superintendent Ferguson was talking told WVUE that he disagreed with that assessment.
Now-former New Orleans Police Officer Scott Fanning hit back in an interview and said his decision to leave was one of self-preservation.
“The reason I left is that something just kind of clicked for me, that it was just not worth it,” Fanning explained. “That night I quit, there were over 40 calls holding when I logged into my computer, and there were only 35 patrol officers logged in for all eight districts.”
The former officer said that the night he quit, there were less than three dozen patrol officers working the streets for a city with an estimated population of about 377,000, WVUE reported.
Fanning said the staffing shortage was the last straw and he made the decision that it would be his last night on the job.
“It was kind of sad,” he told WVUE.
The 23 year old from Northshore said he applied to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) as soon as he hit the minimum age to qualify.