The other day, I wrote an article entitled “JoinNOPD – Unique Opportunities Abound.” This article was geared toward anyone who was thinking about joining the NOPD. If you think about it, there really are plenty of opportunities which have been created by the lack of manpower. There are certainly plenty of opportunities compared to when I was on the job. When the administration decides that they need to build up the Tactical platoons or the Motorcycle platoons, there will be a good number of spots available. This will happen eventually, but the NOPD needs to do some hiring first.
In any event, I know that there are some folks who have a difficult time discussing anything positive about the job these days. There are plenty of issues we face on a daily basis which are troubling, disheartening, or downright unsafe. The thing we hear about the most is the shortage of officers.
I have been affiliated with the Fraternal Order of Police for quite a while now. For more than 10 years, I have been involved in the organization in some type of leadership capacity. While I have never held an elected position, I have been hands-on with the heavy lifting. I was very proud to be affiliated with the FOP when the National and State Lodges donated over $1.5 million worth of equipment, supplies and direct financial assistance to its members in Louisiana after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The Louisiana State Lodge, through a grant from the National FOP Foundation, was able to write a check for $500.00 to over 2300 police officers in south Louisiana, including 1200 members of the New Orleans Police Department. I have been proud to be an FOP member on far too many occasions to mention – we provided Andres Gonzales with an attorney specializing in Workers Compensation after he was shot, helping him navigate the process of having his home rebuilt to wheelchair specifications. We provided that same assistance to John Passaro after he was shot. Last year alone we provided over $44,000.00 in direct financial assistance to New Orleans police officers injured on duty or administratively reassigned pending investigations of job related actions. The FOP paid for the defense of the majority of the Danziger and Glover defendants, as well as providing an attorney to the 80+ police officers interviewed or called as witnesses in those cases. We continue to provide an attorney to every member finding himself, or herself the target of a criminal investigation, a civil litigation, or a disciplinary investigation.
The reason I bring all this up is not to brag on the FOP (although it would certainly be worth bragging about), but to say that my experience tells me that we have to do more than bitch about the things we do not like. The manpower situation is dangerous. It is dangerous for the men and women of the NOPD and it is dangerous for the citizens and visitors of New Orleans. It is easy to complain about and easy to point to examples of why it is bad, and who is to blame.
We can complain and wait for someone else to take steps to make it better or we can complain and take steps to make it better ourselves. We may not be able to fix the problem by ourselves, but we can contribute to the effort in some tangible way to make it better. Whether we like the current Mayor or not, the only ill-effects he experiences as a result of our dangerous situation is that his stolen car isn’t recovered as quickly as it might be otherwise.
So, we can bitch about it and expect someone else to do the work or we can bitch about it and contribute to a solution. The first step is to become more involved as an FOP member.
The New Orleans Police Department needs new hires and lateral transfers. While NOPJF is doing a good job, the best recruiters for a police department are its current officers. In addition, current officers stand to make an extra $1,000 for recruiting new officers (as long as you are not assigned to Recruiting).
How do you make $1,000 for recruiting new officers? Once you have convinced someone they should consider applying to the New Orleans Police Department, they will need to visit www.joinnopd.org to do so. When they click on Apply Online Now, they will be brought to an application. On the application, there is a space for the name of the NOPD officer referring the applicant. If the individual is hired, the referring officer receives $500.00 when the newly hired officer starts the Academy. The referring officer receives an additional $500 when the newly hired officer is promoted to Police Officer I. Easy enough?
The Fraternal Order of Police is calling on its members to help the New Orleans Police Department out of its manpower crisis by talking to friends and family members about joining the NOPD. There might just be $1000.00 in it for you…. I do not think that anyone has taken advantage of this opportunity as of yet. You can be the first…