The New Orleans Civil Service Commission is set to hold its regular monthly meeting on Monday, February 20, 2017. At that meeting, the Commission will consider a request by the New Orleans Police Department to add 16 unclassified positions. These 16 unclassified positions would seek to legitimize the position of Commander, which is currently a special rate of pay based on the assignment as commander of one of the Department’s 16 divisions.
The Crescent City Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police opposes this request. In short, the Department should use classified positions wherever possible. This protects the employee, the public, and the integrity of the system. Since the beginning of time until Chief Serpas’s recent tenure as Superintendent, these positions have generally been held by officers holding the classified rank of Police Captain and Police Major. Those classifications are still available.
The use of Police Captain and Police Major for these positions not only shores up the integrity of the system, but provides officers with a well-defined career path. As it stands today, these positions are being held by Police Lieutenants who have no job security. So, the administration can cut their pay significantly for any number of unlisted reasons.
This, along with the changes made to the recent promotional system, has taken much of the fairness out of the promotional system of the NOPD and left it vulnerable to the type of political interference the Civil Service system was designed to eliminate.