NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation (NOPJF) is inviting the citizens of the greater New Orleans region to go blue by wearing blue clothing and displaying blue lights on buildings and homes on Thursday, Sept. 14, to honor our local law enforcement officers who work to keep our community safe. The date follows the Monday, Sept. 11, Patriot Day observance and aims to extend the pride and gratitude for first responders to the local level.
The NOPJF submitted a request to the Honorable City Council President JP Morrell who issued a proclamation honoring all divisions of local law enforcement on Thursday of the solemn week. Those honored include, but are certainly not limited to, police officers, sheriff deputies, university, levee, railway, and governmental organizations whose sole dedication is public safety. Through this recognition, the NOPJF hopes to boost morale and retention in understaffed departments as well as demonstrate to officers that the citizens have their “six.”
In recognition of the observance, several iconic and historic buildings that make up the New Orleans skyline will be illuminated blue in recognition of the dedication and sacrifice of our local law enforcement officers. As the centers of so many cultural events, their lights remind the world that New Orleans supports its officers. Iconic locations include the following:
- Caesars Superdome at 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive, New Orleans, LA 70112
- Hibernia Tower at 812 Gravier Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
- Sheraton New Orleans Hotel at 500 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
- Aloft New Orleans Downtown at 225 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
The NOPJF, whose mission is to make New Orleans a safer place to live, work, and visit, is responsible for numerous programs impacting the daily lives and investigations of individual officers. Most recently, the Foundation was responsible for driving police officer recruit applications to the New Orleans Police Department through its “Back the Badge” recruitment campaign. The effort resulted in over 45,000 applications received since 2013 – 2,200 of which were produced in the first seven months of 2023. NOPJF is now focused on enhancing its core programs such as the officer tuition assistance program, advanced officer training, community events (such as the recent Blue Crew station revitalizations), Adopt-A-Cop Mardi Gras Support Program, and increasing the efficacy and impact of units and districts. Units recently impacted in partnership with NOPD include the Mounted Unit for whom the NOPJF coordinates horse adoptions, the Canine Unit for whom the NOPJF facilitates annual certifications through the National Police Canine Association, the Digital Forensics Unit for whom the NOPJF acquires rare or unique hardware and software, and the District Investigative Units (DIU) from which the NOPJF sends detectives to trainings such as The Reid Institute.
“The bravery, fortitude, and sacrifice demonstrated each and every day by our local law enforcement is without equal, and our appreciation for what they do to keep our community safe is immeasurable,” said Elizabeth A. Boh, Board Chair at the NOPJF. “From working perimeters in scorching heat, to pedestrian safety at huge events, to proactive enforcement and game-day patrols, our officers at each department in Orleans Parish ensure order is never threatened by chaos.”
While the focus of this day is the appreciation for current law enforcement officers, we acknowledge those who previously served and especially remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. New Orleans has recently lost several off-duty and retired officers in our area and we must remember their lives spent answering the call. Nationally, 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line of duty incidents in 2022. In 2023, at least 77 officers have already died in the line of duty with August having been the most dangerous month year-to-date.*
The NOPJF asks that you thank every officer you encounter and display blue lighting on porches, landscaping, garage interiors, windows, businesses, and any way that might illuminate the night of Sept. 14. The sight of blue lights on a dark night signals to officers, deputies, and all members of law enforcement that they have the support of the community they swore to protect. Share your photos on social media using #BlueNOLA
The New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation (NOPJF) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to making New Orleans a safer place in which to live, work and visit. The Foundation accomplishes its mission by promoting excellence in policing, efficiency in criminal justice and positive community engagement. Current programs to enhance NOPD include recruiting (www.joinNOPD.org) and training. For more information, please visit: www.nopjf.org or join the NOPJF as they honor local law enforcement at the annual Stake Out for Justice Luncheon on October 4, 2023 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.
Whereas, law enforcement services are vital to every community and an expectation of a proactive crime deterrence strategy and compassionate response to emergency calls for service dramatically improves the quality of life of those who experience an emergency; and
Whereas, members of our law enforcement organizations are routinely prepared to enter dangerous situations without hesitation to deescalate, render life-saving aid, and administer justice; and
Whereas, law enforcement consists of police officers, sheriff deputies, university, levee, railway, and governmental organizations whose sole dedication is public safety; and
Whereas, law enforcement must apply and pass a background investigation before enrolling in a rigorous regiment of education, physical fitness, and hands-on training before the state will grant a commission; and
Whereas, the City of New Orleans recognizes the value and accomplishments of our law enforcement personnel and their critical service to the residents of our community; then
Therefore, be it resolved that the President of The New Orleans, JP Morrell, do hereby proclaim September 14, 2023, as
New Orleans Law Enforcement Day