The following was recently received as a comment from an officer not employed by the NOPD in response to our recent Letter to the Editor regarding the planned changes to the NOPD detail system.
I would like to invite and encourage anyone who would like to share their thoughts on police details to submit something to be published. It can be about these so-called “reforms” or it can be your personal experience working paid details with how the detail impacted the community we serve. It could also be about how working paid details has impacted your family.
I would also like to strongly encourage anyone who works details to ask their detail employer to contribute their personal experiences with paid details and how it effected their business or event.
I will be happy to give the author credit for the article or post it anonymously at the author’s direction. Furthermore, I will refrain from editing (except maybe spacing for readability like I did below). You are welcome to submit something even if you do not work for NOPD. Email me or call me about submitting something — Donovan Livaccari firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; 504-905-8280; or click Contact Me.
I have worked for a few departments early in my career but I have been with my current agency for 12 years now. Most of that was done as a road officer then a patrol supervisor. Details for me, and most of the officers I know, are not a luxury. They are a necessity to survive and make ends meet. I know the old saying, “Don’t rely on a detail to pay bills because it may not always be there.” But I, and most guys, have no choice.
From what I have read NOPD makes a lot more per hour on details than most details in JP and my agency. I read that the feds claim that the reforms reflect “best practices” of other agencies. They obviously did not get that from any agency in this area. JPSO and my agency both have a detail office within the department. All details must go through that office for approval. The detail rate is a set standard rate based on the type of detail i.e. regular detail rate is $25/ hr but highway/ road construction detail is $40/ hr. If a police unit is used for the detail, meaning the officer is in the unit and the unit is running, then the department charges $1/ hr for fuel. The price of details is not negotiable by an officer. Each detail is given to a ranking officer to schedule personnel to work that detail, who is paid $2/ hr for every hour worked as an admin fee for keeping the detail scheduled and staffed. This is because my agency’s detail office is not a paid gig, it is just a duty of the administration. It’s that simple and easy. I fail to see why they are making this so complicated and charging businesses a fairly large “tax” to have a detail. I think this may greatly reduce the availability of details for NOPD officers.