(NEW ORLEANS) — James Bennett Jr., the 45-year-old New Orleans police officer shot dead in his cruiser this weekend, had over 15 years’ experience in law enforcement.
“Bennett was a former member of the JPSO [Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office] Reserve Division from April 2000 until March of 2006,” the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “He went full-time in the Second District Patrol Division for a short time, returning back into the Reserves in October 2006. In May of 2013, Sergeant James Bennett, Jr. left the JPSO to go full-time with HANO [Housing Authority of New Orleans].”
Bennett was working with HANO when he was shot Sunday morning, police said.
His fellow New Orleans police officers responded to the shooting and found that Bennett’s car had rolled forward and struck a curb, police said.
A HANO officer “investigates complaints, maintains order, aids individuals, and identifies criminal offenders,” according to a summary of the position on hano.org. HANO officers also perform “unplanned physical tasks which include the restraining of violent individuals, running, climbing fences and responding to EMS and rescue emergencies. Officers must handle gun belts,” the summary said.
New Orleans Coroner Jeffrey C. Rouse said in a statement: “May God bless both the Bennett family and the entire family of law enforcement officers who keep civilization going with their sacrifices, great and small.”
New Orleans police said Tuesday the shooting remains under investigation and no additional information is available.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement Sunday: “The death of this HANO police officer is an unspeakable tragedy, and a vile and cowardly act. Tragedies that involve our men and women in uniform affect our entire city and touch every member of our law enforcement community. We are deeply saddened by this loss, and our hearts and prayers are with the officer’s friends and family and with the entire HANO family during this very difficult time.”
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