Louisiana Legislative Update

Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police Darrell Basco served on the Police Training, Screening, and De-Escalation Task Force. President Basco was the only person on the task force representing rank and file law enforcement officers in Louisiana — our members.

LAFOP President Darrell Basco addresses the task force membership on behalf of the more than 6,000 FOP law enforcement members in Louisiana.

This task force was created by Louisiana Legislators following George Floyd’s death in Minnesota. It is important to remember that these are only recommendations by the task force. The individual recommendations from the task force will have to be considered again to be made part of any legislation. The following was written by President Basco. The Louisiana FOP’s website can be found by clicking here.

The Police Training, Screening, and De-Escalation Task Force culminated on Thursday, January 14th. 

During the Extraordinary session of 2020, Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 passed the Legislature and created the Police Training, Screening, and De-Escalation Task Force.  The Task Force was composed of over 20 members, with the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police being the only rank-and-file police organization represented on the Task Force.

The Task Force was divided into Subcommittees to discuss issues and hear testimony from the public and subject matter experts about contemporary issues between the public and law enforcement.  Subcommittees were assigned specific issues such as Community Relations, Internal Operations, and Policy & Oversight.

Subcommittees reported their findings with recommendations to the full Task Force.

At the culmination, the full Task Force heard 22 recommendations and accepted all, but one of them.  All recommendations were amended from their original language to the language that will be filed in the 2021 Regular Legislative Session.

Please keep in mind that these are recommendations, that will translate into individual legislation introduced in the 2021 Legislative Session. All pieces of future legislation will be debated in committees and in both chambers proceeding through the regular legislative process.

Here is a brief overview of the recommendations.

Recommendation #1

Changes the time frame from 30 to 14 days that an officer has to get an attorney for representation during an internal investigation, unless the officer is incapacitated or in medical facility.

Recommendation #2

Initially drafted to require polygraphs on all internal investigation. Language was amended to a future study resolution by a joint committee of the House Committee on Judiciary and Senate Judiciary B.

Recommendation #3

Changed the 60 day requirement to complete an investigation to 75 days and to be inclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.

Recommendation #4

Resolution urging the State Police Commission, which acts as the Civil Service system for commissioned employees of the Department of Public Safety, to adopt policies similar to those listed in the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights.

Recommendation #5

Recommendation was that an officer would be prohibited from viewing camera footage before being interviewed as part of an administrative investigation. This recommendation was voted to not be recommended by the Task Force.

Recommendation #6

Recommended that only sustained complaints will remain in an officers file for 10 years.

Recommendation #7

Included in the language for Recommendation # 12

Recommendation #8

Places a ban on choke holds under certain circumstances. They would be prohibited unless the officer is in fear of great bodily harm or death of themselves or another.

Recommendation #9

Adds language to Title 9 under immunity that states:

“No element of qualified immunity shall be available to law enforcement officers as a defense to liability for claims brought under state law for wrongful death, physical injury, or personal injury inflicted by law enforcement officers through any use of physical force in a manner determined by a finder of fact in a judicial proceeding to be unreasonable.”

Recommendation #10

Addition to the malfeasance statute:

“If the individual is a full-time or part-time or reserve peace officer, knowingly or with reckless disregard either refuses or fails to perform any duty lawfully required of him as a peace officer”

Recommendation #11

No knock warrants. Language to be added to the statute that follows best practices of executing no knock search warrants. Officers must have approval for no knock warrants from the judge that establishes probable cause that exigent circumstances, such as protecting life and limb. The officer must knock and use a clear announcement and be in uniform. The announcement must be reasonable that the occupants would have heard the announcement.

Recommendation #12

P.O.S.T. will implement a training program for all officers that include anti bias training with topics that include procedural justice, cultural diversity, community relations, and peer intervention.

Recommendation #13

That P.O.S.T. training curriculum implemented in Recommendation #12 will occur by January 1, 2022. Training developed will be in person or online.

Recommendation #14

If a police unit is equipped with a dash camera and the camera has the technology to be activated upon lights/siren activation then the agency shall utilize the technology.

Recommendation #15

No later than January 1, 2022 any agency with body worn cameras shall have a policy that outlines the activation and deactivation of the body worn camera.

Recommendation #16

Became Recommendation #21.

Recommendation #17

All government entities that employ peace officers shall develop a policy to recruit minority candidates.

Recommendation #18

Requires federally established Giglio reporting by agencies to prosecutors.

Recommendation #19

Pulled from consideration

Recommendation #20

Law enforcement agencies are required to provide P.O.S.T. within 45 days of employment status of law enforcement personnel. Failure to do so will result in a $500 fine.

Recommendation #21

Agencies will have to be certified and have at least 3 certified officers within their department to investigate an officer involved shooting. The certification and training will be developed by P.O.S.T..

Recommendation #22

Allows P.O.S.T. to develop and implement policies and procedures to suspend or revoke certification for misconduct.

As this progresses in the 2021 Legislative session the Louisiana FOP will keep the membership informed of updates/changes in the legislation.


Darrell B. Basco                  
LA FOP State President              

The Fraternal Order of Police is the Nation’s largest rank and file police organization with over 350,000 members, 6,000 in LA in 38 local lodges.

Tommy Tizzard

The following is reposted from the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police. The original article can be found here.

Funeral Arrangements: Tommy Tizzard 

The funeral services for Louisiana National Trustee Tommy Tizzard will be held on Friday, January 22nd at Garden of Memories Funeral Home, 4900 Airline Dr, Metairie, LA 70001. Visitation will begin at 10AM with a service to follow. Everyone must wear a mask and observe COVID-19 restrictions at the funeral home.

Tommy was a long-time member of the Louisiana Fraternal Police Executive Board and a 32 year veteran with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, where he retired from the rank of Lieutenant. Tommy also served on the Board of Directors of the Easter Seals of Louisiana, the New Orleans Police Emerald Society, and many more.

If you are traveling and need overnight accommodations we suggest the Hilton New Orleans Airport they are offering a rate of $71.00 plus tax (14.2%) for Thursday, January 22, 2021 – Saturday, January 24, 2021. They have shuttle service to and from the airport every 15 minutes.

To reserve a room at the $71.00 rate, guests must call 504-465-1159 and ask for Brandie 8:00am-5:00pm Monday –Friday. A credit card guarantee will be required for each reservation at the time of booking.

To know Tommy was to love him. He touched everyone’s life that he met.

Tommy was a supporter of Easter Seals in Louisiana, the Louisiana FOP’s charity of choice. Here is a link to make a direct donation to Easter Seals in Tommy’s name.

Tommy’s family has asked in lieu of flowers you can make a donation to the Louisiana FOP by clicking here.

Please keep Tommy and his wife, Nancy, in your prayers.

NOPD 2020/21 Unpaid Furlough Days

We appreciate Mayor Cantrell’s move to exclude public safety employees from the unpaid furlough days at the beginning of 2021. Hopefully, it will not be necessary to reinstitute unpaid furlough days as a result of COVID-19 (or anything else for that matter). However, there are always officers getting to retire after years and years of service.

For those officers who are preparing to retire, or who may have already submitted paperwork to begin the process of retirement, please be aware that the six (6) unpaid furlough days you have already taken do not count toward your retirement. If you are planning on retiring with 30 years and 0 days, you will be 6 days short. These unpair furlough days are treated like suspension days or LWOP days.

Make sure that you contact LaMPERS to get a correct accounting of creditable pension time before retiring. The pension folks can also be reached by telephone at (800) 443-4248 or (225) 929-7411.

FOP Legal Plan 2020

We visit every NOPD Academy class and explain to them, to the best of our ability subject to time restraints, why the FOP’s Legal Defense Plan is not only necessary for today’s law enforcement professionals, but the best possible legal plan available. There are other legal plans that offer legal services, but none of those are specifically geared to law enforcement officers like the FOP’s Legal Defense Plan is. Furthermore, I can give you all a run down of the legal services I provided to FOP members in Louisiana, but I cannot speak for anyone else. In addition, my practice involves representing police officers. That is it. 100% of my legal practice is representing FOP members.

Being able to devote my entire practice to representing FOP members is a benefit to FOP members for a number of reasons. First of all, I am generally available on short notice. If I am not available for some reason, I can get things rescheduled. Devoting my entire practice to representing FOP members also allows me to be, and remain, well-versed in issues facing today’s law enforcement professionals. I do not know any other attorneys in Louisiana who can say they only represent police officers.

In 2020, I represented more than 400 individual FOP members in the following capacitates:

Accident Review Board Hearings – 38
Civil Service Appeal Hearings – 8
Pre-Disciplinary Hearings/Pre-Disposition Conferences – 133
Civil Service Extension Request Hearings – 101
NOPD Rule IX Hearings – 10
Interviews/Statements – 184

I responded personally to 6 officer-involved shooting scenes and represented 20 police officers involved in officer-involved shootings in Louisiana, including interviews and statements with investigators. Most of these were in New Orleans, but there were several in other jurisdictions in southwest Louisiana.

2020 has been an odd year. I know I am not saying anything people do not already know. There were fewer appeals to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. However, I am currently awaiting decisions from the 4th Circuit on the emergency rate of pay and one Civil Service appeal where the appeal was granted in part and denied in part by the Civil Service Commission (I won 45 of 80 suspension days and had to appeal for the other 35).

The FOP’s Legal Defense Plan is the only plan to offer the Salary Reimbursement Option. If you are represented by an FOP attorney and, after consulting with your FOP attorney you come to the conclusion that there is no point in appealing discipline, the FOP will pay the officer for up to 5 suspension days if they choose not to appeal. I assisted 27 NOPD officers with the Salary Reimbursement Option.

In New Orleans, the Crescent City Lodge provides members with free notary services. I provided notary services to 46 NOPD officers over the course of 2020. I also settled 16 Civil Service appeals with the City in lieu of proceeding with an appeal hearing. Those are 16 disciplinary actions rescinded or reduced for my clients.

I also had the opportunity to assist Louisiana FOP President Darrell Basco with his work on various committees in the Louisiana Legislature. I was called upon by the police reform committee to testify at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge about Louisiana’s Police Officer’s Bill of Rights.

Hopefully 2021 will look more like 2019 than 2020. One thing that is certain — The FOP Legal Defense Plan will be there for you when you need it. I will be there when you need me. I always have people tell me they don’t want to bother me with something minor or they don’t want to waste my time.

Nothing is a waste of my time. Nothing is unimportant. Don’t hesitate to call. It does not matter if you are an accused or a witness officer. You can call if you just have a question. I am here to help as much as I can. Furthermore, the FOP will be there for you.

Please note that my phone service now silences phone calls from numbers not in my contact book. I save phone numbers regularly. So, if we spoke on the phone previously, then I probably saved the number and that won’t be an issue. However, if you call and it goes to voicemail, please leave a message or send a text. I am not dodging anyone, but I can’t call anyone back if I don’t know who is calling.

I am looking forward to continuing to serve FOP members in 2021 and beyond. As I have said numerous times, I consider myself lucky to be able to be there for law enforcement officers and blessed to have the FOP Legal Defense Plan to use for that purpose.

Donovan Livaccari

It is always best to call me on my cell phone first.