The 15-day police strike here ended this weekend, as policemen returned to work even though they voted down a contract with the city.

"The back of the police strike has been broken," said Police Supt. James C. Parsons, adding that police operations are back to normal.

The Teamster-affiliated police union, angry over the city's amnesty position, rejected what the city had called its "final final" offer Saturday night, 447 to 173. But later that night, "it became apparent that the men just couldn't hold out any longer." said union President Vincent J. Bruno. cIt was too much of a financial burden."

After that stormy meeting, 532 men called police headquarters to report to work, said Bruno, who returned to duty this morning. "I've been telling the men to return to work," he said. "It became a matter of economics."

The city's police force has 1.514 members. Before last night's contract vote, about 900 had returned to work, according to Parsons, who said today that business-as-usual, 8-hour shifts have resumed. Since the walkout began Feb. 16, Mardi Gras festivities were curtailed. Policemen who stayed on duty, aided by National Guardsmen and state policemen, worked 12-hour shifts.

Bruno said today that he will call a union board meeing to schedule another vote on the proposed contract. But in a news conference this afternoon, Mayor Ernest N. Morial said that the city's offer will be withdrawn and that the status of the union, the Police Association of Louisiana, as the force's official bargaining agent is doubtful.

"At this point in time, we're not recognizing anyone," he said. "The present state of confusion makes it impossible for the city to continue negotiations with the union" because control of the union is doubtful.

The issue that prompted the police to vote against the contract Saturday night was amnesty for strikers, union members said.

The issue that prompted the police to vote against the contract Saturday night was amnesty for strikers, union members said.

The cith's position has been that no one would e punished simply for going on strike. However, before Saturday's contract vote, the city issued a release saying there will be prosecutions for such incidents as slashing tires on police vehicles, intimidation and harassemnt of nonstriking officers, and burnings and fire-bombings of police and National Guard vehicles.

Will he said that he didn't condone such vandalism, union attorney Sidney Bach said before Saturday's vote that he feared the threat of punishment could extend to lesser acts, such as a striker's calling a policeman a scab if he crossed picket Lines. "The city's offering the policemen the olive branch of peace in one hand and a hot gun in the other," Bach said before he entered the union meeting.

Inside the close meeting, Bruno said, "the men were very upset about it. We probably would have had a ratification of the final contract if it hadn't been for the press release" on amnesty.

In his news conference today, Morial reiterated the city's position, adding that any officer returning to work after the contract rejection vote would be examined on a case-by-case basis, as would be any striker accused of criminal acts during the walkout.

Benefits in the rejected contract, which will go to policemen and other city employees even though he agreement has been withdrawn by the city, include more liberal computation of overtime and holiday pay, better hospitalization and isurance policies and a $25 yearly increase in uniform allowances.

These benefits will cost "at least $2.5 million per year," Morial said today.

However, the city refused to submit to two major union demands: binding arbitration and the inclusion of ranking officers in the bargaining unit.