The following was recently received from an NOPD officer 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.
The public’s perception tends to shape political viewpoints and some policies within the police department. Details are no exception. The D.O.J. didn’t help the perception by labeling details the “aorta of corruption.” I’ve read comments from nola.com from citizens who have wrote that officers should be concerned with doing their jobs within the N.O.P.D. or officers were being “greedy”. The average citizen may not know that there are policies in effect already regarding details such as how many hours an officer can work details per week and an officer cannot be “on duty” with the city and work a detail. Details are basically part-time jobs and they are taxed like any other job. As for being greedy, the majority of officers who work details on a regular basis do so to supplement their income because they have to, not because they want to.
Citizens may be under the assumption that having an Office of Secondary Employment will “shape up” the detail system, but there isn’t a problem to begin with. This newly formed office will take officers who have worked neighborhood details providing security for years, out of those neighborhoods and different officers will be in their place. An officer who was working the same detail for years knows the neighborhood such as who lives there, what vehicles belong where, and they would know what is out of place. Whereas an officer new to the detail would have to learn this and meet the neighbors. This doesn’t make sense for community oriented policing, which I thought was a strategy the department was in favor of.
The new office was self described as being competitive to other security patrols and agencies. At $34.00 an hour, of which the officer receives $29.00, this is not competitive. Neighborhoods and businesses are not going to pay $34.00 an hour when they can get a cheaper rate elsewhere. This office will hurt the officer in the pocketbook and will reduce morale.
Officers aren’t the only ones affected, neighborhoods and businesses should know the $5.00 extra per hour is said to be used for administration fees and payroll within the office, but at $5.00 per hour per officer this office will more than pay for salaries and administrative costs. A question should be what is this “tax” going towards?
— Anonymous NOPD Officer
All this is is a convenient excuse to create another six figure salary and take care of friends. It’s a shakedown in the most in your face way with the DOJ blessing. The opse needs $5 an hour per officer is an offense. Thy came right out and told us all that it was gonna be used to fund their office and pay for credit cards, etc. this is going to spiral out of control off of mine and my fellow officers backs, and we will still bear the brunt of being labeled corrupt while these overtly greedy people will be considered the knights in shining armor for the city and the department; fighting the good fight against the ever present evil money hungry police. I just want to go to work and go home. I want to be left alone and for them to stop calling us names and picking fights with us.
I haven’t been keeping up with this subject but I will now. This is crazy. First off if we paid our police force a decent salary they wouldn’t have to seek compensation elsewhere. Second, if we would keep the scumbag criminals in cages where they belong and shut down the catch and release program the DA’s office is running down on Tulane and Broad the police would be able to properly patrol the streets. This is just another example of government creating a problem that the citizen is forced to resolve on his own. THEN instead of trying to fix the original problem the government wants to regulate the solution. Unreal dude. I stand behind our police…to bad our government can’t do the same!!!