Sunday, August 10, 2014

A few good men and women.. or whatever is the next best thing

We're Hiring

The Metropolitan Crime Commission thinks NOPD could do a better job of things if they weren't "wasting time" arresting people for minor offenses.
As the number of cops on the streets of New Orleans continues to shrink, a new report by a watchdog group criticizes the New Orleans Police Department for continuing a practice the group sees as wasting officers' time.

On an average day in 2013, officers booked into Orleans Parish Prison roughly 10 people who were wanted by other parishes for minor non-violent offenses, such as missing court for traffic citations, according to the report by the Metropolitan Crime Commission.

A number of bills proposed during the recent legislative session might have helped police manage their time better.  The most potentially impactful of these measures, however, were defeated by heavy opposition coming from law enforcement.

Meanwhile, NOPD is focusing on adding manpower.  They're even instituting a bounty program.
The city also is proposing a new recruiting incentive by offering existing officers a $500 referral bonus for every applicant who qualifies for the academy. That new recruiting tool is expected to be discussed Wednesday at the City Council’s budget committee meeting.
Actually the bonus could be double if the recruit completes academy training.

Council is waiting on a legal opinion before deciding whether to vote on the hiring bounties. In the meantime, we'll just have to make do with plan B: Vigilante superheroes.  
NEW ORLEANS —The man attempting to organize an armed citizen patrol in the French Quarter and who had a warrant for his arrest on a stalking charge was arrested Thursday.

According to jail records, Aaron Jordan was arrested Thursday on one count of stalking. Attempts by WDSU to contact Jordan for comment Wednesday night were unsuccessful.

Jordan recently put out the call for volunteers to serve with the French Quarter Minutemen, offering a visible presence and armed escorts in the city's most famous neighborhood.
Whoops! Well, OK. What else you got?  Sure, there's an ad campaign. There's always an ad campaign.

In the future, individual businesses and residents will no doubt hire their own private police force using some sort of mobile app. (Call it AirP&DTMBut for now, we have this
A coalition of Bourbon Street businesses voted unanimously Tuesday (Aug. 5) to chip money into a weekly pot that would go toward the hiring of three off-duty police officers to patrol the famous entertainment strip.

The French Quarter Business League approved the plan in hopes of having boots on the ground by Labor Day after which 50 state troopers are scheduled to leave following a deployment that began in early July.
So that's minus 50 state troopers but plus 3 off-duty NOPD.  It may not sound impressive but this may be a case where less really is more
As he continued defending his troopers' actions, the Louisiana State Police chief released a dashcam video Tuesday of the forceful stop of a musician in the Lower 9th Ward.

Shamarr Allen, a trumpeter known for his band, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs, has claimed in TV interviews that he felt in danger and that he was treated unfairly because of his race.

"It's just wrong," Allen told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune on Tuesday after watching the video. "I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do none of that. I don't live wrong at all. It's just, this is the life of a black man in the Lower 9th Ward."

According to the troopers, by the way, the use of force in this case was "justified and necessary" so you can see why everyone is so anxious to get away from that in favor of the staid, sober rectitude of off-duty NOPD on paid detail
Such moonlighting is seen as a matter of necessity for many New Orleans cops, who over the years have consistently ranked among the lowest-paid officers working in big-city departments. But the report this week by the U.S. Department of Justice about widespread problems within the New Orleans Police Department singled out private details for criticism, saying they have a deeply corrupting influence on the agency.

"We believe it will be impossible to transform the culture of NOPD without dramatic change to the detail system," Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said at a news conference Thursday. "As one of our contributors commented, 'The paid detail system is the aorta of corruption within the New Orleans Police Department.'"

The unregulated system for awarding the work -- in which NOPD officers coordinate and select fellow officers to work certain details -- is ripe for corruption, the report contends. The report also argues that the detail system contributes to inequitable policing in New Orleans, because better-off neighborhoods can tax themselves to pay for extra policing, while poorer neighborhoods -- which arguably need more police presence -- must rely on the local district for baseline services.

Can't imagine what that would be like.  

No comments: