Monday, September 08, 2014

I dig the flashy beanie

Owen Courreges has drawn us a little cartoon of the the "NOLA Patrol" citizen quasi-cop units soon to be deployed in the French Quarter.  His column accompanying the drawing is pretty good. It picks out some of the obvious problems with the idea such as those the police unions have already expressed.
Donovan Livaccari, spokesman and attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police, also raised concerns that Nola Patrol might get in over its head.

“Police are equipped to handle whatever comes at them, and things aren’t always as they seem,” Livaccari told the Times-Picayune. “They could utilize civilian personnel effectively, but what amount of an officer’s burden that’s going to lift is unclear.”

Mayor Landrieu’s plan is ostensibly designed to replacing the 50 state troopers that have been temporarily patrolling the French Quarter.  Alas, with money tight, he wants to do it on a budget.  The budgeted funding only amounts to $48,000 per NOLA Patroller, so with infrastructure, equipment, and administrative costs, we can expect their wages to be pretty minimal.

This has the police unions up in arms, because trying to pawn of their formal duties on civilian employees earning slave wages doesn’t exactly add to their reputation or the value of their jobs.  Glasser believes that this is yet another scheme by Landrieu “designed to undermine the department and drive officers out.”
He's a bit off with this observation, though. 
The second potential problem is that these pseudo-cops could become the chief enablers of the Quarter’s resident killjoys, i.e., the Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents, and Associates (VCPORA). 
 Even if VCPORA ends up taking a hard position in favor of the Citizens On Patrol, any "enabling" they receive in return would be incidental. The fake cops were organized and paid for by the local tourism industry. VCPORA doesn't always see eye to eye with those guys.

1 comment:

Owen Courrèges said...

I see what you're saying, but given that VCPORA appeared immediately receptive to Nola Patrol and referenced how it would help with "quality-of-life" issues, I could very easily see these guys being co-opted to enforce administrative regulations in the Quarter, particularly with regards to smaller music venues, street performers and tarot readers (hell, they'll probably roust the homeless too). I certainly think that's what VCPORA is hoping for. Although VCPORA and the hotel industry are often at odds, I don't see there being any conflict with that.