[JURIST] The New Orleans Police Department fired 45 police officers and 6 other employees Friday after investigators concluded they had improperly abandoned their duties during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] without giving 14 days notice as required by regulations. A total of of 240 officers out of the 1450-member force are under investigation [JURIST report] after being listed as missing during Katrina's fallout; the investigations will culminate in hearings beginning on November 8 that are expected to take 4-6 months to complete. The fired officers have no chance at appeal. Fifteen other officers under investigation have already resigned, and another 45 not under investigation resigned for personal reasons. The president of the New Orleans police union did not defend those accused of abandoning their duties, saying, "the worst thing you can call a police officer is a deserter." AP has more.