NEW ORLEANS -- A court-supervised agreement yesterday to overhaul the New Orleans Police Department will require the troubled agency to implement the most sweeping police reforms ever negotiated by the Justice Department.

Attorney General Eric Holder joined Mayor Mitch Landrieu in announcing the signing of a federal consent decree designed to clean up a police force that has been plagued by decades of corruption and mismanagement. The department came under renewed scrutiny following a string of police shootings in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The 124-page agreement spells out a series of strict requirements for overhauling the police department's policies and procedures for use of force, training, interrogations, searches and arrests, recruitment and supervision.

Holder said the agreement is the most wide-ranging in the Justice Department's history and resolves its allegations that New Orleans police officers engaged in a pattern of discriminatory and unconstitutional activity.

"There can be no question that today's action represents a critical step forward," Holder said. Landrieu estimates the city will pay roughly $11 million a year for the next four or five years to implement the reforms. He expressed confidence that the agreement will produce "the new NOPD."

A federal judge must approve the agreement and oversee its implementation.

Among its provisions:

All officers will be required to receive at least 24 hours of training on stops, searches and arrests; 40 hours of use-of-force training; and four hours of training on bias-free policing.

All interrogations involving suspected homicides or sexual assaults will have to be recorded in their entirety on video. The department also will be required to install video cameras and location devices in all police vehicles within two years.

The department will be required to restructure the system for paying officers for off-duty security details, develop a format for collecting data on all stops and searches and create a recruitment program to increase diversity among its officers.

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