NEW ORLEANS (NEWSnet/AP) — Rats have gotten into confiscated marijuana at New Orleans' police headquarters, munching the evidence as the building is overtaken by mold and cockroaches, said the city's police chief.

“The rats eating our marijuana, they're all high,” Police Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick told New Orleans City Council members.

Kirkpatrick described vermin infestation and decay at the offices that have housed New Orleans police since 1968. Officers have found rat droppings on their desks.

City officials are taking steps to move the department to new space. That has been a priority of the police chief since she took office in October.

The chief said her 910 officers come to work to find air-conditioning and elevators broken. She told council members the conditions are demoralizing to staff and a turnoff to potential recruits.

“The uncleanliness is off the charts,” Kirkpatrick said, adding that it's no fault of the department's janitorial staff. "They deserve an award for trying to clean what is uncleanable.”

The city council is considering a proposal to spend $7.6 million on a 10-year lease to relocate the police headquarters temporarily to a a high-rise building downtown.

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