The Superintendent of Police recently said that 10-11% of all employees were subjected to a PIB investigation in 2012 and 2013 has been similar, if not a little higher. Since we have about 1,201 employees at last count, that would indicate that at least 120 officers have been the accused officer in an internal investigation. That seems a little low since more than 1,100 PIB control numbers were generated in 2012.
The law does not require that officers be notified of a pending internal investigation. That being said, there are some investigators who go out of their way to notify officers of pending investigations. It is more common for officers to learn about pending investigations when they receive a letter from Civil Service informing him or her of an upcoming hearing on the NOPD’s request for an extension of time. Less frequently, officers are notified when they are given a Notice to Render Statement.
Being an FOP Legal Plan member entitles you to legal representation from the beginning of an investigation. In fact, it is extremely helpful and beneficial to the officer and the legal counsel to have legal counsel involved as early as possible. I have received numerous calls from officers who are calling to tell me about a potential complaint – the earlier the call, the better. If for some reason you are unable or choose not to call at the beginning of an investigation, that is OK too. It is NEVER too late.
You are also entitled to representation if you are called in as a witness officer. Witness officers have their own set of concerns that may not be readily apparent at the time.
Finally, it is not unusual for me to receive calls with general questions that may or may not be related to the disciplinary system or process. I don’t claim to have every answer, but I will attempt to find out if I don’t know.
Myself and the other core FOP attorneys work within NOPD’s system day in and day out. We are always available to assist in whatever way we can.
Donovan Livaccari – 504-905-8280
If you have any questions about the FOP Legal Plan or the NOPD’s disciplinary system, feel free to call. Store your FOP Attorney’s phone number (or all of them) in your phone for easy reference. If it is not pressing, you are welcome to email us.
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