COVID-19 Vaccinations for Veterans

Southeast Louisiana VETERANS:
Starting today, Tier 1C is now eligible for vaccines at the New Orleans VA.
To get scheduled, call: 1-800-935-8387 x72819

Eligibility:
ANY AGE with any of the following conditions (per CDC recs):
Cancer
Chronic kidney disease
Lung disease (COPD, Emphysema, etc.)
Heart conditions (heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies, etc.)
Obesity and Severe Obesity (BMI ≥30)
Sickle Cell Disease
Smoking
Type II Diabetes
Pregnancy

Patients of ANY AGE who are considered essential workers as defined by CDC (must bring proof of work):
Transportation and logistics
Food service
Shelter and housing (construction)
Finance
IT and Communication
Energy workers
Media workers
Legal workers
Public safety (engineers)
Water and wastewater workers

PLUS:
Existing Eligible Group
Veterans who are eligible to receive care with VA who are:
Age 65 or older

Any age in the following very high risk groups:
Dialysis
Chemotherapy
Homeless or congregate living
Long term care facility
Spinal Cord Injury (inpatient or outpatient)
Transplant

Any age who are considered frontline essential personnel as defined by CDC:
First responders (firefighters, police)
Healthcare workers
Education (teachers, support staff, daycare)
Agriculture and food processing workers
Manufacturing
Corrections workers
US Postal Service workers
Public transit workers
Grocery store workers

Louisiana Legislative Update

Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police Darrell Basco served on the Police Training, Screening, and De-Escalation Task Force. President Basco was the only person on the task force representing rank and file law enforcement officers in Louisiana — our members.

LAFOP President Darrell Basco addresses the task force membership on behalf of the more than 6,000 FOP law enforcement members in Louisiana.

This task force was created by Louisiana Legislators following George Floyd’s death in Minnesota. It is important to remember that these are only recommendations by the task force. The individual recommendations from the task force will have to be considered again to be made part of any legislation. The following was written by President Basco. The Louisiana FOP’s website can be found by clicking here.

The Police Training, Screening, and De-Escalation Task Force culminated on Thursday, January 14th. 

During the Extraordinary session of 2020, Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 passed the Legislature and created the Police Training, Screening, and De-Escalation Task Force.  The Task Force was composed of over 20 members, with the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police being the only rank-and-file police organization represented on the Task Force.

The Task Force was divided into Subcommittees to discuss issues and hear testimony from the public and subject matter experts about contemporary issues between the public and law enforcement.  Subcommittees were assigned specific issues such as Community Relations, Internal Operations, and Policy & Oversight.

Subcommittees reported their findings with recommendations to the full Task Force.

At the culmination, the full Task Force heard 22 recommendations and accepted all, but one of them.  All recommendations were amended from their original language to the language that will be filed in the 2021 Regular Legislative Session.

Please keep in mind that these are recommendations, that will translate into individual legislation introduced in the 2021 Legislative Session. All pieces of future legislation will be debated in committees and in both chambers proceeding through the regular legislative process.

Here is a brief overview of the recommendations.

Recommendation #1

Changes the time frame from 30 to 14 days that an officer has to get an attorney for representation during an internal investigation, unless the officer is incapacitated or in medical facility.

Recommendation #2

Initially drafted to require polygraphs on all internal investigation. Language was amended to a future study resolution by a joint committee of the House Committee on Judiciary and Senate Judiciary B.

Recommendation #3

Changed the 60 day requirement to complete an investigation to 75 days and to be inclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.

Recommendation #4

Resolution urging the State Police Commission, which acts as the Civil Service system for commissioned employees of the Department of Public Safety, to adopt policies similar to those listed in the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights.

Recommendation #5

Recommendation was that an officer would be prohibited from viewing camera footage before being interviewed as part of an administrative investigation. This recommendation was voted to not be recommended by the Task Force.

Recommendation #6

Recommended that only sustained complaints will remain in an officers file for 10 years.

Recommendation #7

Included in the language for Recommendation # 12

Recommendation #8

Places a ban on choke holds under certain circumstances. They would be prohibited unless the officer is in fear of great bodily harm or death of themselves or another.

Recommendation #9

Adds language to Title 9 under immunity that states:

“No element of qualified immunity shall be available to law enforcement officers as a defense to liability for claims brought under state law for wrongful death, physical injury, or personal injury inflicted by law enforcement officers through any use of physical force in a manner determined by a finder of fact in a judicial proceeding to be unreasonable.”

Recommendation #10

Addition to the malfeasance statute:

“If the individual is a full-time or part-time or reserve peace officer, knowingly or with reckless disregard either refuses or fails to perform any duty lawfully required of him as a peace officer”

Recommendation #11

No knock warrants. Language to be added to the statute that follows best practices of executing no knock search warrants. Officers must have approval for no knock warrants from the judge that establishes probable cause that exigent circumstances, such as protecting life and limb. The officer must knock and use a clear announcement and be in uniform. The announcement must be reasonable that the occupants would have heard the announcement.

Recommendation #12

P.O.S.T. will implement a training program for all officers that include anti bias training with topics that include procedural justice, cultural diversity, community relations, and peer intervention.

Recommendation #13

That P.O.S.T. training curriculum implemented in Recommendation #12 will occur by January 1, 2022. Training developed will be in person or online.

Recommendation #14

If a police unit is equipped with a dash camera and the camera has the technology to be activated upon lights/siren activation then the agency shall utilize the technology.

Recommendation #15

No later than January 1, 2022 any agency with body worn cameras shall have a policy that outlines the activation and deactivation of the body worn camera.

Recommendation #16

Became Recommendation #21.

Recommendation #17

All government entities that employ peace officers shall develop a policy to recruit minority candidates.

Recommendation #18

Requires federally established Giglio reporting by agencies to prosecutors.

Recommendation #19

Pulled from consideration

Recommendation #20

Law enforcement agencies are required to provide P.O.S.T. within 45 days of employment status of law enforcement personnel. Failure to do so will result in a $500 fine.

Recommendation #21

Agencies will have to be certified and have at least 3 certified officers within their department to investigate an officer involved shooting. The certification and training will be developed by P.O.S.T..

Recommendation #22

Allows P.O.S.T. to develop and implement policies and procedures to suspend or revoke certification for misconduct.

As this progresses in the 2021 Legislative session the Louisiana FOP will keep the membership informed of updates/changes in the legislation.


Darrell B. Basco                  
LA FOP State President              

The Fraternal Order of Police is the Nation’s largest rank and file police organization with over 350,000 members, 6,000 in LA in 38 local lodges.

Tommy Tizzard

The following is reposted from the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police. The original article can be found here.

Funeral Arrangements: Tommy Tizzard 

The funeral services for Louisiana National Trustee Tommy Tizzard will be held on Friday, January 22nd at Garden of Memories Funeral Home, 4900 Airline Dr, Metairie, LA 70001. Visitation will begin at 10AM with a service to follow. Everyone must wear a mask and observe COVID-19 restrictions at the funeral home.

Tommy was a long-time member of the Louisiana Fraternal Police Executive Board and a 32 year veteran with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, where he retired from the rank of Lieutenant. Tommy also served on the Board of Directors of the Easter Seals of Louisiana, the New Orleans Police Emerald Society, and many more.

If you are traveling and need overnight accommodations we suggest the Hilton New Orleans Airport they are offering a rate of $71.00 plus tax (14.2%) for Thursday, January 22, 2021 – Saturday, January 24, 2021. They have shuttle service to and from the airport every 15 minutes.

To reserve a room at the $71.00 rate, guests must call 504-465-1159 and ask for Brandie 8:00am-5:00pm Monday –Friday. A credit card guarantee will be required for each reservation at the time of booking.

To know Tommy was to love him. He touched everyone’s life that he met.

Tommy was a supporter of Easter Seals in Louisiana, the Louisiana FOP’s charity of choice. Here is a link to make a direct donation to Easter Seals in Tommy’s name.

Tommy’s family has asked in lieu of flowers you can make a donation to the Louisiana FOP by clicking here.

Please keep Tommy and his wife, Nancy, in your prayers.

NOPD 2020/21 Unpaid Furlough Days

We appreciate Mayor Cantrell’s move to exclude public safety employees from the unpaid furlough days at the beginning of 2021. Hopefully, it will not be necessary to reinstitute unpaid furlough days as a result of COVID-19 (or anything else for that matter). However, there are always officers getting to retire after years and years of service.

For those officers who are preparing to retire, or who may have already submitted paperwork to begin the process of retirement, please be aware that the six (6) unpaid furlough days you have already taken do not count toward your retirement. If you are planning on retiring with 30 years and 0 days, you will be 6 days short. These unpair furlough days are treated like suspension days or LWOP days.

Make sure that you contact LaMPERS to get a correct accounting of creditable pension time before retiring. The pension folks can also be reached by telephone at (800) 443-4248 or (225) 929-7411.

FOP Legal Plan 2020

We visit every NOPD Academy class and explain to them, to the best of our ability subject to time restraints, why the FOP’s Legal Defense Plan is not only necessary for today’s law enforcement professionals, but the best possible legal plan available. There are other legal plans that offer legal services, but none of those are specifically geared to law enforcement officers like the FOP’s Legal Defense Plan is. Furthermore, I can give you all a run down of the legal services I provided to FOP members in Louisiana, but I cannot speak for anyone else. In addition, my practice involves representing police officers. That is it. 100% of my legal practice is representing FOP members.

Being able to devote my entire practice to representing FOP members is a benefit to FOP members for a number of reasons. First of all, I am generally available on short notice. If I am not available for some reason, I can get things rescheduled. Devoting my entire practice to representing FOP members also allows me to be, and remain, well-versed in issues facing today’s law enforcement professionals. I do not know any other attorneys in Louisiana who can say they only represent police officers.

In 2020, I represented more than 400 individual FOP members in the following capacitates:

Accident Review Board Hearings – 38
Civil Service Appeal Hearings – 8
Pre-Disciplinary Hearings/Pre-Disposition Conferences – 133
Civil Service Extension Request Hearings – 101
NOPD Rule IX Hearings – 10
Interviews/Statements – 184

I responded personally to 6 officer-involved shooting scenes and represented 20 police officers involved in officer-involved shootings in Louisiana, including interviews and statements with investigators. Most of these were in New Orleans, but there were several in other jurisdictions in southwest Louisiana.

2020 has been an odd year. I know I am not saying anything people do not already know. There were fewer appeals to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. However, I am currently awaiting decisions from the 4th Circuit on the emergency rate of pay and one Civil Service appeal where the appeal was granted in part and denied in part by the Civil Service Commission (I won 45 of 80 suspension days and had to appeal for the other 35).

The FOP’s Legal Defense Plan is the only plan to offer the Salary Reimbursement Option. If you are represented by an FOP attorney and, after consulting with your FOP attorney you come to the conclusion that there is no point in appealing discipline, the FOP will pay the officer for up to 5 suspension days if they choose not to appeal. I assisted 27 NOPD officers with the Salary Reimbursement Option.

In New Orleans, the Crescent City Lodge provides members with free notary services. I provided notary services to 46 NOPD officers over the course of 2020. I also settled 16 Civil Service appeals with the City in lieu of proceeding with an appeal hearing. Those are 16 disciplinary actions rescinded or reduced for my clients.

I also had the opportunity to assist Louisiana FOP President Darrell Basco with his work on various committees in the Louisiana Legislature. I was called upon by the police reform committee to testify at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge about Louisiana’s Police Officer’s Bill of Rights.

Hopefully 2021 will look more like 2019 than 2020. One thing that is certain — The FOP Legal Defense Plan will be there for you when you need it. I will be there when you need me. I always have people tell me they don’t want to bother me with something minor or they don’t want to waste my time.

Nothing is a waste of my time. Nothing is unimportant. Don’t hesitate to call. It does not matter if you are an accused or a witness officer. You can call if you just have a question. I am here to help as much as I can. Furthermore, the FOP will be there for you.

Please note that my phone service now silences phone calls from numbers not in my contact book. I save phone numbers regularly. So, if we spoke on the phone previously, then I probably saved the number and that won’t be an issue. However, if you call and it goes to voicemail, please leave a message or send a text. I am not dodging anyone, but I can’t call anyone back if I don’t know who is calling.

I am looking forward to continuing to serve FOP members in 2021 and beyond. As I have said numerous times, I consider myself lucky to be able to be there for law enforcement officers and blessed to have the FOP Legal Defense Plan to use for that purpose.

Donovan Livaccari

It is always best to call me on my cell phone first.

LAMPERS Election

PLEASE SEE THE BELOW MESSAGE FROM TIGER FOLKS. If you are in one of the jurisdictions covered by Non-Chief District 2 (see the below message from Tiger), please vote for Tiger. We need people like Tiger representing the active members of the Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System.

Brothers and Sisters,

Today I come to you as a candidate for the Non-Chief District 2 trustee seat on the Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System (MPERS) Board. I have been in law enforcement for over 35 years and have the privilege of serving on the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police Executive Board for the last 10 years, currently as 2nd Vice President.  I have dedicated my life to law enforcement and will do the same for you as MPERS Board Member.  I will work diligently to protect your retirement and will make myself available to answer your questions. 

If you are an active member of District 2 MPERS you will receive a postcard on or about November 25, 2020, which will have a link and a QR Code, similar to the one in the photo. Please take a few minutes and cast your vote.

Thank you

 Sgt. James “Tiger” Folks

Franklinton Police Department

 2nd Vice President – Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police

President – Corbett W. Penton, Lodge #47

District 2 includes the municipalities in the following parishes Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermillion, Washington, and West Baton Rouge.   

November 16, 2020 Civil Service Commission Meeting (**UPDATE**)

If you haven’t read the prior article on Monday’s Civil Service Commission meeting, click here and read it. In that article, I composed 3 comment cards and encouraged everyone to email a comment card to CSNO@NOLA.GOV. You can use one of the comment cards I made, or write your own. Just make sure you do it. It is important, even though it is not likely that this Commission will deny the Administration’s request.

In this article, I have included 4 more comment cards for NOPD and NOFD employees to choose from.

Click here to download Comment 4. Comment 4 is for an NOPD employee who is seeking employment elsewhere because of the 32 unpaid furlough days.

Click here to download Comment 5. Comment 5 is for an NOFD employee who is seeking employment elsewhere because of the 32 unpaid furlough days.

The next two may be my favorites:

Click here to download Comment 6. Comment 6 is for an NOPD employee willing to say that this may be the last straw and urges the Commission to do the right thing and look out for its employees.

Click here to download Comment 7. Comment 7 is for an NOFD employee willing to say that this may be the last straw and urges the Commission to do the right thing and look out for its employees.

The Civil Service Commission meeting starts the docket portion at 10:00 a.m. and the business meeting at 11:30 a.m on Monday. Comment cards must be submitted before then. Instructions for “attending” the virtual meeting can be found in yesterday’s article (Click Here).

November 16, 2020 Meeting of the New Orleans Civil Service Commission – Unpaid Leave Days

On Monday, November 16, 2020 at 11:30 a.m., the New Orleans Civil Service Commission will hold its monthly meeting. Because of COVID-19 and the associated restrictions, the meeting will be held on Zoom and by teleconference for those who do not have access to a computer.

As I mentioned at the latest Fraternal Order of Police meeting, it would be helpful to have as many comment cards submitted as possible. To be safe, I would recommend emailing the comment card by the end of November 15, 2020.

To join the meeting from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android, click here.

To join the meeting by telephone, call 1-213-787-0529 and enter conference code 888712.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell has announced that every city employee is required to take one unpaid leave day for the last 6 pay periods of 2020. Mayor Cantrell has also announced her intention to require every city employee, including public safety agencies such as NOPD and NOFD to take one unpaid leave day for each of the 26 pay periods in 2021.

New Orleans Civil Service Rule XII, Sec. 9.1(b) requires that the Mayor get authorization from the New Orleans Civil Service Commission in order to make employees take more than 12 unpaid leave days in any consecutive 12 month period. Approval by the Civil Service Commission requires the Mayor to demonstrate extraordinary circumstances.

The Civil Service Commission will take comments from those interested in commenting. I have drafted three general comment cards. If you choose to use one of my comment cards, you will still be required to fill in the blanks on page 1. I have filled in the blanks that are common for everyone, but you have to put your own name on it.

Click here to download Comment Card 1. Comment Card 1 contains a general statement about how the Mayor’s request far exceeds the 12 unpaid furlough days contemplated by the rule.

Click here to download Comment Card 2. Comment Card 2 contains statements more specific to NOPD.

Click here to download Comment Card 3. Comment Card 3 contains statements about exempting public safety, NOPD, and NOFD.

Click here to download a blank comment card with the common information already typed in.

Click here to download the blank comment card to fill it in however you would like.

Once you have decided on one of the pre-written comment cards or have completed a comment card yourself, you need to email it to CSNO@NOLA.GOV. If you do not email the comment card in, it will not be read.

You can download the meeting’s agenda here.

Please take the time to submit a comment card. Also, pass this article and any attachments on to your fellow employees or anyone who would be interested in sending in a comment card.

NOPD Furloughs

By now, everyone is aware that there will be mandatory furloughs of personnel through the end of the year. There are 6 pay cycles starting on October 11 and ending on January 2, 2020. Everyone will be required take one unpaid furlough day in addition to your regular AWP days per 2-week pay cycle. There should be no need to take any more than 6 unpaid furlough days before the end of the year.

I was asked if officers were forbidden from scheduling their furlough day to coincide with AWP days or annual leave days. I was told there is no Department regulation or directive that would not allow taking annual the day before and the day after your scheduled furlough day. If you are AWP on Wednesday and Thursday, nothing prevents your furlough day from being Friday or Tuesday.

However, it is possible that your commander could implement a district directive to that effect. Or maybe your supervisors can’t make the schedule work like that, but it isn’t because of some department-wide directive.

There have been rumors about pay cuts, forced retirements, and all kinds of other unpleasant personnel actions. I am sure that all of those things are on the table. There are somethings the City can’t control. For example, your pension is a state pension. So, that money cannot be used elsewhere. That being said, your pension is the only benefit that will be impacted adversely by the furlough days. By the end of the year, you will be 6 days behind. Otherwise, your benefits will not be affected.

There was a special meeting of the New Orleans Civil Service Commission today (10/8/20). The only item on the agenda was the City’s request to waive the time delays found in Rule XII, Section 9. It does not impact the actual furlough of employees, just how quickly they can implement the furloughs. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the Commission voted to give the City Administration the waivers they were asking for.

I, on behalf of the FOP, have been working with Aaron Mischler of the New Orleans Firefighter’s Union to find a solution to the mandatory furloughs. Right now, this is looking like a promising exercise. However, there are no guarantees and it isn’t done until its done.

The FOP is working hard on your behalf and we will not stop. There are no guarantees, except that the FOP will be working hard on your behalf.

NOPD Inspection

On August 18, 2020, N.O.P.D. Sergeant Kevin Seuzeneau sent an NOPDALL email reminding everyone about N.O.P.D. Rule 2, Moral Conduct, Paragraph 1, Adherence to Law. Why would he do that? Doesn’t everyone already know that police officers have to comply with the law? Sure we do.

Sgt. Seuzeneau also reminds everyone that there will be a department-wide inspection coming soon. He follows that up with some municipal traffic ordinances police officers in New Orleans are also familiar with. There are probably plenty of officers who have never experienced a department-wide inspection while employed by NOPD, but this is a good time to prepare.

Sgt. Seuzeneau included the municipal ordinances on driver’s licenses, vehicle registration, license plates, etc. These ordinances are included because these are the things they will be checking. You will likely be asked to produce your driver’s license. They will also check to make sure those licenses are valid. Is your driver’s license suspended because of a dispute with the State of Louisiana over taxes? That is a sustained violation. No license on person? Sustained.

They will also check the cars out in the parking lot. The cars should have license plates affixed to the rear number – not on the rear deck. The registration should be readily available. The brake tag should be valid and there should be valid insurance.

All of these potentially sustained violations are avoidable. Take Sgt. Seuzeneau’s advice and use his email as a checklist. It is not worth the hassle of being sustained for R2P1. If it happens, feel free to call me.