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New Orleans offers police Vegas vacations

NEW ORLEANS — A day after two police suicides and the abrupt resignations or desertions of up to 200 police officers, defiant city officials on Sunday began offering five-day vacations — and even trips to Las Vegas — to the police, firefighters and city emergency workers and their families.

The idea of paid vacations was raised by both Mayor Ray Nagin and senior police officials who said their forces were exhausted and traumatized and that the arrival of the National Guard had made way for the officers to be relieved.

Officials were planning to send 1,500 workers — about 900 of them police officers — out in two shifts for five days each and were sending them to Las Vegas because of the availability of hotel rooms and to Atlanta where many of them had relatives.