About Donovan Livaccari

Louisiana FOP Lawyer

A Good Time to Prepare

www.nola.com/entertainment_life/home_garden/article_a3a19316-77c1-11ea-920c-7f8ea57235d3.html

I was reading the above article and thought this could be a good opportunity to remind members of the FOP Crescent City Lodge that the Crescent City Lodge provides its members with 4 hours of legal services for any family law needs and 2 hours of legal services for anything else. I can usually get a Last Will and Testament and/or a Living Will done for Crescent City Lodge members with no out of pocket expense.

Also, the NOPD continues to conduct internal investigations. I have been working with officers throughout this current situation. The FOP’s Legal Plan will continue to provide legal services as usual. Feel free to call about statements, whether you are the accused officer or not, extension hearings, or any other questions you may have about disciplinary investigations.

Donovan

NOPD Only – Supplies Poll

In an effort to gauge the supplies needed by members of FOP Crescent City Lodge #2, I would appreciate it if NOPD personnel could answer the following non-scientific poll questions. Please share with NOPD personnel and encourage NOPD personnel to answer the 3 poll questions.

NOPD Update 4-5-2020

I have been working with Porchjam Distillation on behalf of the Crescent City Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. Porchjam was very excited about helping NOPD officers on the front line during the COVID-19 pandemic. I really appreciate their help.

Picking up hand sanitizer for the FOP Crescent City Lodge

On Monday, April 6, I will he distributing 20 1-gallon bottles of hand sanitizer to each of the 8 District stations, SOD, and Headquarters.

Pochjam Distilleries personnel load up hand sanitizer

Officers are welcome to use these 1-gallon bottles to refill the bottles they are currently using. If you do not have a bottle, I would recommend looking around for a spray bottle you can repurpose for hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer is watery and more suitable for a spray bottle than a squeeze bottle.

Hand sanitizer

The hand sanitizer is 80% alcohol and will do the job of sanitizing well. Hand hygiene is one of the most important aspects of staying well.

So, again, the FOP will be delivering 20 1-gallon bottles of hand sanitizer to each of the 8 District stations, SOD, and HQ on Monday, April 6. We will deliver more 1-gallon bottles later in the week.

Thanks, again, to Porchjam Distillation and Gordon Stewart, the founder of Porchjam Distillation.

Note: In case you did not see it, I was advised at the end of last week that the hand sanitizer in the floor of the Smoothie King Center was NOT available for individual officers use.

Update 4-6-2020: Jim Gallagher, Walter Powers, and I made deliveries of hand sanitizer today. Once we are able to get a feel for how we can best serve our members, and we will be in a better position to evaluate what we can do moving forward. Once again, thanks to Porchjam Distillation for their help with the hand sanitizer.

COVID-19 Roll Call Training from LSU NCBRT Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education

The below video was received from the LSU NCBRT Academy of Counter-Terrorist

Education. It is intended for use as roll call training for law enforcement relative to COVID-19.

Arrests and Summonses – NOPD and the SARS-CoV-2 Virus 4-3-2020

Since the lockdowns have begun in New Orleans and Louisiana in response to the novel coronavirus, reporters have asked me about changes to the New Orleans Police Department’s arrest policy. I have been asked about this as recently as yesterday (4-2-2020) in a conversation with Matt Sledge in his preparation for writing this article for NOLA.COM/The Advocate.

While I was not quoted in Matt’s article, I was quoted in an article by The Lens on March 25 and an article for the Washington Post on March 31. The Washington Post article was titled “New Orleans police are jailing people for minor offenses even as the city becomes a covid-19 hotspot.”

Since the message appears to be fluid, I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify my position in this regard.

First and foremost, trying to make an inherently dangerous profession as safe as possible is one of the FOP’s primary missions. For the Crescent City Lodge, that means trying to make working at the New Orleans Police Department as safe as possible. In light of the current threat posed by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the resulting COVID-19 illness, that means limiting close interactions with other human beings as much as possible.

We are all making sacrifices by limiting our contact with other human beings in an effort to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. For law enforcement officers, that means limiting close contact with colleagues and members of the public, as much as possible. Sometimes it is not possible. Sometimes, law enforcement officers have to act.

Early on, the NOPD moved fairly swiftly to reduce the number of reports that had to be made in person to an officer by transferring some of that reporting responsibility to the Alternative Police Reporting Unit, which takes reports over the telephone. Subsequently, the NOPD has made it so all reports of property crimes that do not involve an arrest are taken over the telephone.

Specifically, as it relates to arrests, I have been asked numerous times about my thoughts on the NOPD’s arrest policy in light of the current threat.

As I stated above, social distancing would require us to limit our close interactions with other human beings as much as possible and arrests are not socially distant events. Therefore, officers should exercise their discretion to issue a summons in lieu of arrest based on guidance from the NOPD administration, the requirements of LaCCrP Art. 211, and the officer’s observations. As Jim Pasco, the executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, was quoted in the Washington Post article, sometimes what looks like an arrest for a minor offense is nothing of the sort.

I explained to every reporter that asked me about the NOPD’s arrest policy that I have been in regular contact with Assistant Chief Superintendent Paul Noel and it is my understanding that the guidance being provided to officers is to issue summons whenever it is possible to do so. Sometimes it is not possible to do so – even for minor offenses. However, as Superintendent Ferguson pointed out in Matt Sledge’s article, arrests are down 59% in the last 2 weeks of March versus the same time period from last year.

I do not believe for a second that NOPD officers are being pushed to make arrests. I believe that Superintendent Ferguson’s comments in today’s article by Matt Sledge for NOLA.COM/The Advocate represent a well-reasoned approach to the topic. I am also confident that NOPD supervisors are giving NOPD officers reasonable guidance on arrests in light of the circumstances based on my numerous conversations with Chief Noel.

I have told every reporter who has asked that I think it is important for the NOPD to use summonses when it is appropriate to do so. Furthermore, I believe NOPD officers are doing so.

FOP to Distribute Face Masks Today (4-3-2020)

FOP TO DISTRIBUTE FACE MASKS TODAY

The Fraternal Order of Police, Crescent City Lodge will begin the process of delivering facemasks to NOPD officers today by providing a limited supply of facemasks to each district.

This will be the first phase of delivery with additional facemasks and nitrile gloves being made available to other NOPD units and individual officers on Monday.

These facemasks are “multi-purpose disposable facemasks” and ARE NOT N-95 respirators.

There is a national discussion as to how much protection these facemasks provide to the wearer, and a national recommendation on the use/wearing of facemasks by the general public is expected in the coming days.

Our limited research shows that these masks assist in containing the spread of coronavirus to others, and do provide a modicum of protection against the disease by the wearer.  They tend to assist the wearer from touching the nose and mouth area, and also make the wearer more conscious of the fact that the disease is prevalent and very contagious and precautions should always be taken.

These masks should be worn in conjunction with nitrile gloves and should never be touched with bare hands.  If the wearer believes he/she has come in contact with a compromised surface, both gloves and facemask should be re-sanitized or replaced.

WEARING OF NITRILE GLOVES AND MASKS ARE NOT AN EXCUSE TO IGNORE OTHER SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:

WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN, WITH SANITIZER OR SOAP AND WARM WATER, VIGOROUSLY AND FOR AT LEAST 20 SECONDS.  (The 20 seconds part is important because research shows that is how long it takes to breakdown and destroy the coronavirus while washing hands).

DO NOT TOUCH YOU FACE, ESPECIALLY YOUR EYES, NOSE OR MOUTH, UNLESS YOU HAVE SANITIZED YOUR HANDS.

MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING – STAY AT LEAST SIX (6) FEET AWAY FROM OTHERS WHENEVER POSSIBLE.  (Latest research shows that coronavirus may be spread by simply speaking with others, and does not need coughing or sneezing to be spread).

Jim Gallagher
FOP Crescent City Lodge #2

The FOP first distributed hand sanitizer on March 4, 2020 to NOPD’s 8 District for distribution to frontline officers.

The FOP also distributed nitrile gloves to NOPD personnel on March 31 and April 1, 2020. These gloves were distributed to the NOPD’s 8 Districts and S.O.D., as well as some smaller units.

Right now, across the country, it is difficult to get PPE. However, the FOP is committed to trying to help its membership, which makes up 90% of all NOPD commissioned officers, stay as safe as possible in light of the circumstances.

Donovan

FOP Crescent City Lodge #2 Monthly Newsletter Email Giveaway

Each month, about a week before the monthly FOP meeting, the Crescent City Lodge sends its monthly newsletter to members via email. Starting in May 2020, the Crescent City Lodge will begin a random draw giveaway that will work like this:

In May, the Crescent City Lodge will randomly choose one email address from the email list used to distribute the monthly newsletter. If the person with the selected email address replies to the newsletter email from the selected email address, that member will win $50 cash.

If nobody responds from the selected email address by the time the Crescent City Lodge sends out the June newsletter email, then a new email address will be chosen and published in the monthly newsletter and that person will become the potential winner of $100. Likewise, if the email address selected for the June newsletter email does not respond from the selected email address by the time the July newsletter is sent out, then a new email address will be selected and that person could win $150. Once the pot is claimed, it will go back to $50.

The important thing is to make sure the FOP Crescent City Lodge #2 has your correct email address. If the Crescent City Lodge does not have your correct email address, then there will be no way your email address can be selected.

If you are not regularly receiving the Crescent City Lodge’s monthly newsletter by email, that means we do not have an accurate email address for you.

If you receive the Crescent City Lodge’s monthly newsletter at your @nola.gov email address, please send the Crescent City Lodge your personal email address. There are inherent problems with using your @nola.gov email address for anything that is not work-related. As I have mentioned numerous times, you have no expectation of privacy with regard to anything in your @nola.gov email inbox (or outbox). The City and Department have specifically told you there is no right to privacy with your @nola.gov email address. In addition, there is a policy that states that you are only allowed to use your @nola.gov email address for work-related communication. As the attorney for a lot of NOPD officers, I am advising you that it is unwise to use your @nola.gov email address for anything other than work-related communication. If the NOPD wanted to forward all of the emails in your @nola.gov email address to the FBI, they would be well within their rights to do so. You can get a free email address from any number of places. Google’s Gmail is available for free. Microsoft has @outlook.com email addresses that are available for free. You can get @yahoo.com email addresses for free. ProtonMail is available for free and has end-to-end encryption. The bottom line is if you are using your @nola.gov email address for all of your email communication, you are putting yourself at risk unnecessarily when there are cost-free alternatives available.

If you need to update your email address with the Crescent City Lodge, you can email Jim Gallagher at jim6411 at fopno.info. You can send me updated email addresses also and I will send it where it needs to go. You can also update your address, phone number, beneficiary, or other personal information using the same method.

You could be missing out if the Crescent City Lodge does not have your correct email address. Beginning in May, all you have to do is open the monthly newsletter email and check the selected email address. If the selected email address belongs to you, all you have to do is reply to the monthly newsletter email address and you could win between $50 and $600. If you have legal questions about privacy and email, feel free to give me a call. If you have any questions about the email address giveaway, you are welcome to call me or Jim Gallagher.

Please note: The FOP Crescent City Lodge cannot be held responsible if you do not receive the monthly newsletter email for some reason. You may want to consider whitelisting jim6411 at fopno.info if your email provider supports the maintenance of a whitelist. If you are not receiving the monthly newsletter email about 5 days before the scheduled meeting date, contact us and we can try to fix the problem.

Don’t miss out! Update your email address today! Good luck! Proud to be FOP!

NOPD Update 4-1-2020

As we move into April, it looks like the current circumstances are going to continue at least until the end of April. Please be careful and do not take any unnecessary risks. At the same time, I know that the NOPD is full of heroes who are interested in providing the best possible law enforcement services even in the face of this invisible threat. I am proud of all of you.

  • Civil Leave – If you were ordered by a supervisor to go home or stay home and that order is related to COVID-19, you should be carried Civil Leave. Special Order 6-2020 states that Civil Leave is available for anyone ordered to go home or stay home and if the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. However, after writing an email requesting clarification, particularly about employees ordered to go home and/or stay home but not experiencing symptoms, Chief Goodly called to let me know that those employees should also be carried Civil Leave. Civil Leave does not reduce your accumulated leave. If you were ordered to go home or stay home due to concerns about COVID-19 and you were carried sick or annual, you can write a 105 through your chain of command to the Superintendent explaining that your supervisor, insert name, ordered you to go home and/or stay home relative to COVID-19 and that you had been carried sick or annual. You can then request that the Superintendent change that from sick or annual to Civil Leave.
  • There is a 55-gallon drum of hand sanitizer available for officers at the Smoothie King Center on the floor of the arena. The hours of availability are unknown at present. Officers should use a spray bottle, if possible. It is very liquidy. UPDATE: 4-4-20 – I have been advised that individual NOPD officers cannot go to the Smoothie King Center to refill hand sanitizer bottles.
  • The FOP delivered gloves to the 8 district stations and SOD on March 31, 2020. We are expecting a shipment of surgical masks soon and we will distribute once we have them.
  • BDU’s start on Sunday (4/5/20). APE is open on Airline if you need it.
  • NOPD is still conducting formal administrative investigations. They are also still conducting extension hearings. It is my understanding that disciplinary hearings have been put on hold for the time being unless the officer requests that the hearing be expedited to facilitate retirement. Do not hesitate to call me about administrative statements, extension hearings, or any other issues related to the disciplinary process. I am available to assist you. PIB is also still delivering the occasional disciplinary letter. If you receive a disciplinary letter for something you want to appeal or exercise the salary reimbursement option for, please let me know.
  • The FOP Legal Defense Plan is still available to you for whatever you may need. The Legal Defense Plan includes free notary services, 2 hours of legal time per year for any personal legal matter, and 4 hours of legal time per year for family law matters. Of course, any administrative investigation, whether it is for an on-duty incident or an off-duty incident is covered with no out-of-pocket expense for FOP members. Criminal investigations related to on-duty incidents are also covered with no out-of-pocket expense for FOP members. Civil matters are also covered (call me). A number of the above only apply to members of the Crescent City Lodge #2.
  • The Louisiana FOP is conducting a survey relative to law enforcement officers’ experiences with COVID-19. If you have a chance to answer the survey questions, it would be helpful. It will not take long and does not collect any personal data or identifiable information. Click here to participate.
  • The FOP team stands ready to assist however we can. Even if you just want someone to voice your concerns to, feel free to call. The Chiefs have been very responsive to concerns I have brought to them. I think I have spoken with either Chief Noel or Chief Goodly every day since this has started. The administration is listening. Again, don’t hesitate to call me.
  • Please wash your hands for at least 20 seconds whenever possible. It is important to supplement hand sanitizer with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Try to avoid touching your face.

As I indicated above, I am available if there are any concerns you may have. The Department has made it so all property crimes without an arrest can be handled by telephone. The administration has also encouraged the use of summons whenever possible. Every close contact you have with another human being is a risk. Try to minimize your risk wherever possible.

Donovan

NOPD Update 3-20-20

I received numerous calls today about concerns officers have about personal safety in light of the COVID-19 threat. I heard from officers worried about responding to some calls for service. I heard from officers who were concerned about responding to calls for service at some locations. I also heard concerns about personal protection equipment and the purchase and distribution of that equipment. The gist of the calls was that officers want to make sure someone is looking out for them.

First of all, the FOP is engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the administration regarding the safety of FOP members. Making a job that is inherently dangerous as safe as possible is one of the core missions of the FOP. Furthermore, it is important that officers who are not sick report to work as scheduled. Officers who are sick should stay home.

I am available by telephone, text, and email. The FOP will not stop working on behalf of its members.

RESPONSE TO NON-EMERGENCY CALLS FOR SERVICE

The NOPD is set to increase the calls handled by telephone. On March 20 or 21, there should be a decrease in calls for service that have to be handled face to face. With more calls for service being handled by telephone, the risk of exposure should be lower. However, there are calls that require an officer’s physical presence.

If you have to be physically present on a scene, then you have to try to maintain a distance of 6 feet from other people. Try to avoid going in the homes of callers, if possible. Try to limit the number of people you are in contact with. When you are done, go find a place to wash your hands and try to avoid touching your face.

PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT

The NOPD generally did not have the type of equipment everyone is looking for right now. EMS gave some masks and gloves to the NOPD, but those don’t go very far once you hand them out. The next thing you know, you have to submit a 105 to get one more glove.

The FOP bought 1000 2 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer. I brought a case to the 8th District and the 4th District. We distributed the rest at the MAXX meeting on March 4. Unfortunately, not everyone got one. We tried to buy 1000 more bottles, but they were unavailable by then.

That is the bottom line. These items are hard to come by. The FOP ordered 4000 surgical procedure masks and 7400 gloves in different sizes. The shipping on that order was delayed from the beginning and, now, the delivery of these items is uncertain at best. I know the FOP and the NOPD continue to look for these types of supplies.

DANGEROUS LOCATIONS

There are some locations with a higher rate of virus transmission than others. The Orleans Parish Communications District (OPCD) has locations like that flagged and officers won’t be dispatched to those locations unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, there will be equipment available for responding officers.

The FOP is always looking out for its members. We do our best to improve the safety of our members’ working conditions however we can. We will continue to discuss these issues. Please let us know about things that need to be addressed.