A Tale of Two Cities; LAPD’s Twelve Year Consent Decree

NOPD car

     In May of 2013 the Los Angeles Police Department was unceremoniously released from a twelve year consent decree in a three-line ruling by District Judge Gary Feess; the same federal judge responsible for extending LAPD’s original time frame from five years to ten, and eventually twelve years. The LAPD was the first municipal police agency to undergo a consent decree after Congress granted the Justice Department new powers to seek injunctive relief by suing state and local governments in federal court – powers extended specifically to address problems in the LAPD that would later be used in binding over 20 additional U.S. agencies in consent decrees.

     “When the decree was entered, LAPD was a troubled department whose reputation had been severely damaged by a series of crises, In 2008, as noted by the monitor, ‘LAPD has become the national and international policing standard for activities that range from audits to handling of the mentally ill to many aspects of training to risk assessment of police officers and more,’” Feess wrote of the release.

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Chief Harrison’s First Year as #NOPD Superintendent

IMG_0153I was contacted by two reporters about stories they were writing about Mike Harrison’s first year as Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department.

Ken Daley of NOLA.COM wrote Harrison touts improved NOPD after first year as chief, others wary of mayor’s influence.

Matt Sledge of The New Orleans Advocate wrote NOPD chief Michael Harrison reckons with challenges on one-year anniversary.

Several people who read my response to these two reporters suggested that I should publish my comments in their entirety.  I have also shared a copy of this complete text with Chief Harrison.  The entirety of my response read as follows:

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State Arrest/Search Warrants



                As several new officers have recently completed FTO phases, followed in two weeks by another 30 recruits, I thought it may be a good time to thoroughly cover the topic of state warrants and their format/content. In addition to some basic concepts for new officers; this is also an excellent forum for covering more advanced topics for specialists to hopefully clear up some areas subject to frequent confusion (expiration of warrants for contents of electronic devices, etc). Each topic has a subject heading below so hopefully this article will be useful as a quick reference for both new and experienced members looking for guidance on specific issues. Also below are some suggestions and concerns offered by Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Magistrate Jonathan Friedman. Note that I have not covered NOPD policy in this article; NOPD policy is substantially based on Louisiana law on the subject and many of our readers work outside of Orleans Parish. This article is intended to provide a relevant overview of Louisiana law on search and arrest warrants, suggestions on structuring a factual basis, and links to completed warrants (here) are included so that new officers can read actual search and arrest warrants covering a variety of scenarios to get a feel for the finished product.

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Reasonableness and Post-Riley Smartphone Searches

The below article was reproduced from The Federal Law Enforcement Informer, August 2015 issue.  The Informer is a product published by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Office of Chief Counsel, Legal Training Division.  The entire document, which contains case notes on notable federal cases, can be found here.

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Reporting the Use of Force


My Use of Force Reporting Guide/Checklist can be found by clicking here.  It is a combination of information found in the AELE Use of Force Report Writing Guide and information found in other places.  The checklist is based on the specific requirements of NOPD Chapters 1.3 and 1.3.6.  This guide should be helpful and useful for law enforcement officers regardless of employer.  Again, officers should ensure that the checklist accurately reflects their department’s requirements. My discussion of NOPD Chapter 1.3 can be found here.

The Use of Force Reporting Guide/Checklist can also be found in the FOP CCL2 mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices for easy access on the road.  The iOS version can be found in the Apple App Store and the Android version can be found in the Google Play Store.  The Use of Force Reporting Guide/Checklist can be found in the Use of Force section.  You can click on the banner below to find the app.  A larger, higher quality version of the Use of Force Reporting Guide/Checklist can be found here.

       FOP CCL2    

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