Mayor Mitch Landrieu and interim NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison took their police recruiting campaign to about a dozen churches Sunday.

A letter from the mayor and Archbishop Gregory Aymond was also read at all Catholic churches in the city.

Landrieu said the message he delivered is that the city is "looking for qualified men and women with excellent character" to join the NOPD.  

One of the churches where Landrieu and Harrison spoke on Sunday was The City of Love Church in the 8600 block of Palmetto Street.

The pastor, Bishop Lester Love, said "it is important that everyone joins together to let the citizens know that our law makers and our faith-based entities stand together for peace, love, and safety in our great city.”

With a force of just over 1,100 officers, the NOPD is about 500 officers short of its ideal staffing level.

The department graduated a class of 23 recruits in November of 2013. Another class of nearly 30 recruits is currently in session and a third class is slated to begin this fall.