Below is a new video from the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training at L.S.U. The video provides some tips for people who work on the frontlines of the pandemic on how to make home a little safer for their families.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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!