Monday, September 05, 2005

Defense Department Briefing Transcript Sat. Sept 3, 2005

The complete news briefing by Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief, National Guard Bureau can be read in this News Transcript.

The last question and answer is reprinted below:

Q: One quick follow-up. Is it fair to say, using the convention center as an example, that one reason it took until Friday to get aid in is the National Guard needed time to build up a response team with military police to ensure law and order because the New Orleans Police Department had degraded so much?

GEN. BLUM: That is not only fair, it is accurate. You've concisely stated exactly what was needed, and I told you why. We took the time to build the right force. The outcome was superb. No lives hurt, nobody injured. It was done almost invisibly.

Q: And you estimate there's about a third of the New Orleans Police Department left. Do you remember about how many are in the New Orleans Police Department?

GEN. BLUM: On a normal day they should have 1,500 paid officers in New Orleans, give or take. Some people have said it's 1,650. It's in the rough order of 1,500-man police force, and I think the mayor told me they're down to less than 500.

Thank you.

Q: Thank you.

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