Police Support in the Michael Brown Era.

Media overlooks urban cops and safety stakeholders working together. Ratings and newsroom muckrakers favor riots and recrimination. Police support still exists in urban areas, no matter how much some wish otherwise.

Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers and my Generation X populate ranks of urban safety stakeholders. I hope the fact police support is solid despite past social turbulence is noted.

My maternal grandparents and divorced mother raised me in the civic values of their day. They never once made a negative comment about law enforcement. Obviously, this is in stark contrast to current anti-police sentiment.

One simple realization should unite urban police officer with urban safety stakeholder: one wants to lock bad guys up and the other doesn’t want to be menaced by them. Together, they can create safety which is prevention oriented like police athletic leagues and explorer posts alongside joint protection partnerships such as neighborhood watch, department-run or recognized citizens on patrol ( COPs ), Volunteers in Policing ( VIPs ) and Citizens Academies.

Police support still exists among urban safety stakeholders, even in the Michael Brown era. I predict growth in defiance of an anti-police media/militant narrative. Bad guys in our zip codes haven’t closed up shop to hit the talk show circuit . They’re content hitting heads, homes and ‘hoods from coast to coast.

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter.

Nola.com’s Anti-Cop Cartoon

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Open Letter to the New Orleans Times-Picayune Editor:

The “Miranda Rights, Last Rites ” cartoon by your editorial cartoonist showed profound contempt for the American police officer. 

I’m not a member of law enforcement but am a police supporter in my capacities as advocate and ” urbansafetyist ” ( grassroots consultant to inner city events and enterprises ). The stereotypical image of a prejudiced White police officer reminded me of degrading depictions of American Blacks from a less enlightened era. 

It was just that casually revolting, as if a universal truth were announced. The American police officer is disrespected enough without cartoons like this slapping him or her in the face! 

I am proudly a brother who doesn’t hate blue ( police ).

 -Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Urban Safetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter. 

Fellow police supporters, feel free to share your displeasure at ContactUs

 

 

Blue is a Civil Rights Color, Too

No American group has the market cornered on unfair treatment. I type this as an American raised in the South and stand by my statement. That said, our police officers are a US group mistreated like no other. The blue ( and other colors ) of their uniforms places them in a unique minority status.

In the era of camera phone transparency, one-sided footage ends careers or burns portions of cities. While strategic ” blue flu ” outbreaks express displeasure, officers are the sole minority which can’t voice their opinion. Police unions are the exception to this vocational gag order. Their representatives and attorneys speak forcefully for silenced peers.

My suggestion is they shouldn’t speak alone. Stakeholders should stand beside police unions to form a united front as active in uplifting officers as opponents are in tearing them down. Urban stakeholders especially can draw upon our own minority experience to better understand the few who wear blue.

Opponents hostile to inner citizen and officer alike pit both against each other. The key to defeating very destructive plans is unlikely unity between these groups. Otherwise, free reign is granted career criminals and political agitators to be held harmless no matter what they do. Hostage inner citizens and urban officers are most at risk in this scenario. It behooves them to put aside inflamed issues and fight a common threat.

The officer responding to a call for service in a low income, high crime area is also a minority. He or she feels stereotyped; over-scrutinized by prejudiced spectators; demonized by media; subjected to selective enforcement and malicious prosecution and, ironically, concludes police lives don’t matter either. It’s high time we realize blue is a civil rights color too. Lives will be saved when we do.

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter. UrbanSafetyism blog http://www.urbansafetyism.blogspot.com

More Officers & Engaged Community Needed

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Yesterday, a street cop friend and I had our usual informal, free wheeling policy talk. We discussed two of my favorite alternative public safety models, the British police community support officer ( PCSO ) and the global Guardian Angels street patrol, founded in New York. 

He vetoed the PCSO concept, stating that non-police officers like animal control and parking enforcement already exist which can issue summons. His opinion was identical to a public position taken by the Police Association of New Orleans ( PANO ) president regarding the now-defunct Nola Patrol. Nola Patrol was to address quality of life, parking and traffic concerns in the French Quarter. The PANO head noted NOPD; parking enforcement and public safety rangers already addressed those issues. I appreciate reluctance to duplicate PCSOs in America. British police unions-unsuccessfully- opposed them, too. Active duty police feel more officers, not specialized spin offs, are the answer to crime suppression. 

New Orleans Police Department has serious recruitment and retention problems, while violent crime soars upward. He also felt the Guardian Angels should be replaced by engaged communities solving problems en masse, instead of full contact volunteers. 

Engaged community is the heart of my UrbanSafetyism, where we create safety instead of awaiting rationing from public and private sources. Our talk ended with agreement upon increased police staffing and community action as solutions agreeable to any reasonable person. Engaging communities is quicker than awaiting recruits to complete the academy and field training. 

Urban stakeholders and police have common ground which shouldn’t be surrendered to well publicized agitators opposed to consensus. 

Consensus, not conflict, creates safety. 

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter.

Investment Primer for Criminal Justice Professionals

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When considering or discussing investment options and strategies for criminal justice professionals, one thing stands out immediately; whether you’re an attorney stuck in the courtroom until 8:00pm each night or a police officer assigned to the night watch, few of us have the free time necessary to navigate today’s complex financial markets. Simultaneously, new police officers and new prosecutors who start their careers in the low to mid $40’s do not typically have the assets to justify paying a growing number of full service advisors (many firms simply will not open new accounts below certain minimums). Those who attempt to venture into the shallow end of the modern investing world are usually overwhelmed with esoteric information. The typical family saving for retirement does not need to know what the VIX is, or the price of June WTI crude oil futures, and they certainly do not get up at 5:00am to get a feel for the Asian trading day and direction of U.S. pre-market trading prior to the open.

So, what’s a cop to do?
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Tax or No Tax, The Goals Must Remain the Same

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Cast against the background of the tragic murder of former Saints defensive end Will Smith, discussions of tax measures seem much less important.  There is a fundamental culture of violence that exists in this city which will not go away until the people who find themselves smack in the middle of it decide they will simply not tolerate it any longer.  Until that happens, there will be no meaningful progress in the fight against violent crime in New Orleans.  So, I am going to discuss the failure of the April 9, 2016 tax proposal, but I will be doing so while thinking about Will Smith and all of the other victims of needless violence in the city I choose to call home.

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FOP’s week on Capitol Hill

This past week FOP representatives from across the nation flew to Washington DC for the annual “Day on the Hill” event where the FOP’s national legislative agenda is discussed with members of the House and Senate. With 300,000+ members nationwide, a lobby presence, and state and national legislative offices, the FOP is often able to gain support for, and advance legislation that benefits those who serve this nation in law enforcement and public safety generally.

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Louisiana 5th District Congressman Ralph Abraham, MD

Fraternal Order of Police Louisiana representatives included Darrel Basco, State President; Patrick Yoes, National Secretary; Dawn Powell, State Legislative Committee Chair; James Gallagher, Secretary-Treasurer; and myself, Jacob Lundy, Policy Chairman. Meetings throughout the week included Congressman John Flemming (R); Congressman Charles Boustany (R); Congressman Cedric Richmond (D); Senator Bill Cassidy (R); Senator David Vitter (R); Congressman Steve Scalise (R); Congressman Ralph Abraham (R), and Congressman Garrett Graves (R).

The 2016 FOP national legislative agenda was discussed throughout the week (details below), however FOP Louisiana and FOP New Orleans would like to point out that the murder of Officer Ashley Guindon in nearby Prince William County Virginia on February 27 during her first day on the job dominated talk in Washington and FOP addressed the anti-law enforcement climate around the nation and its effects on public safety with all members of congress from the beginning.

All representatives were predictably alarmed and engaged on this topic and pledged their support in helping to guide discourse in a reasonable and constructive direction, both in Washington and via national media. Our representatives also openly acknowledged their concern over what appears to be a national police recruiting drought with growing vacancies and increasing delays in calls for help as a result of the current climate.

I should make special mention here that each and every member of Congress personally sent their sincere thanks to the men and women of Louisiana law enforcement who continue to serve their communities day in and day out.

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Candid discussions of public safety, criminal justice, and law enforcement specific issues took place during the week with members of congress, many of whom sought FOP’s input on their own agenda items currently underway (body cameras, sentencing reform, opiate/opioid legislation, etc).

FOP’s national legislative agenda for 2016 included the following items of note for Louisiana members;

  • H.R. 973/S. 1651 the “Social Security Fairness Act,” FOP sought and received considerable support for restoring full social security benefits for law enforcement officers who pay into social security via details and additional side-employment throughout their careers but are denied full benefits at retirement
  • Enact S. 125/H.R. 228 to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program which would provide for matching federal funds in purchasing body armor for state and local law enforcement
  • Support for restoration of the Department of Defense 1033 Surplus Equipment Program. As everyone knows, a single media event resulted in the knee-jerk decision to kill the 1033 program which provides demilitarized equipment to state and local law enforcement; equipment most commonly used to rescue victims of natural disasters or respond to active shooter scenarios – most recently to safely neutralize two well-armed terrorists in San Bernardino following a mass casualty shooting
  • Full funding of the COPS hiring and other grant programs
  • Full funding of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) Programs

All national agenda items received overwhelming support from our representatives, many of whom requested follow-up from the FOP’s national legislative office in Washington DC.

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Louisiana 4th District Congressman John Flemming, MD

In addition to scheduled agenda items, Jim Gallagher and Jacob Lundy were asked to meet with Congressman Cedric Richmond outside of the in-progress House Judiciary Committee hearing on the FBI-Apple debate where we provided input to Congressman Richmond on FOP’s general position as well our direct experience negotiating such obstacles in the course of major felony investigations, namely homicides. Our discussion with Congressman Richmond may be seen on Canal+ television. It is worth noting just after our meeting with Congressman Richmond at the House Judiciary Committee hearing that East Baton Rouge District Attorney  Hillar Moore was scheduled to testify on the murder of Brittney Mills, 29, pregnant at the time of her murder, and whose case may hinge on the contents of an Apple product currently inaccessible to law enforcement.

FOP also discussed and voiced opposition to the recently published Police Executive Research Forum’s paper Use of Force: Taking Policing to a Higher Standard, which, among other items, seeks to abandon 30 years of guiding Supreme Court jurisprudence on the objective reasonableness standard established in Graham v. Connor. While FOP pointed out that the paper contains some items all can agree on, and that law enforcement has and always will strive to improve training – the idealism in the PERF document reflects just how untenable law enforcement employment has become. The PERF document and discussions on its premise highlight the ever growing trend of ignoring social issues until they must be confronted by law enforcement, often during violent encounters, only to have law enforcement take the blame for decades of social neglect by all other stakeholders.

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Senator Bill Cassidy

Overall, FOP representatives nationwide, including Louisiana, described 2016’s Day on the Hill as very productive and engaging. Law enforcement and pubic safety generally were very much on the agenda in Washington DC, a city which has lost 800 police officers since 2014 and saw a 50% increase in homicides through 2015. All parties however expressed their commitment to turning that phenomenon around in future.

 

 

FOP Louisiana and FOP New Orleans would like to thank the following for their support during 2016’s Day on the Hill;

  • All members of Congress listed above, as well as their respective legislative staff members
  • Chuck Canterbury, FOP National President
  • Andy Maybo, Capitol Police Department, President FOP Lodge 1 Washington DC
  • All members of the Capitol Police Department
  • Josh Hodges, National Security Policy Advisor – Senator Vitter
  • Jim Pasco, Executive Director FOP Legislative Office, Washington DC
  • Robert Jenkins, President William Nichols Lodge 8, Miami FL
  • Captain David Bernhardt, FOP West Palm Beach FL

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We handle accidents too!

101 W. Robert E. Lee Blvd. Suite 402 New Orleans, LA 70124

Livaccari Villarrubia Lemmon
101 W. Robert E. Lee Blvd.
Suite 402
New Orleans, LA 70124

So the accident was not your fault. You were the driver of the vehicle that was not at fault or a passenger in any vehicle involved in an accident. What do you do now? If your motor vehicle accident happened on public property, you should always request a police investigation so that a report can be prepared and you will have all the information about how the accident happened and all parties and insurance companies involved in the accident. If the accident occurred on private property, usually the local police department will not investigate the incident. In that instance, try to get statements and information from not only the parties involved, but also any witnesses that may have seen the accident. Next, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Typically an emergency room visit or Police Car 2urgent care visit on the date of the accident provides good evidence that you were injured in the accident. Now you need to preserve your rights to recover damages for your injuries. Self-help almost always results in high stress and poor results. An insurance company’s goal is minimize your recovery of damages, not to make you whole. Your best choice is to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Don’t talk to any insurance company representative before talking to a lawyer, and particularly don’t give a statement without your lawyer being present.

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Privacy and Email #FOP #FOPNO #NOPD @fopno

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NOPD Policy 212 makes it clear that employees of the New Orleans Police Department have NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY when using their employer provided email account. This is generally a true statement whether the policy says so or not.  It is also generally a true statement regardless of your employer.  Do not send anything over your employer’s email system that you do not want someone else to easily have access to.

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As an attorney who represents police officers and other types of employees, my clients enjoy privileged communication with regard to legal matters.  However, if those communications are made using your employer’s email, you will likely waive that privilege because you clearly have no expectation of privacy using your employer’s email network.

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Facebook Privacy and Law Enforcement Officers

With Facebook’s new Graph Search, I can search for people employed by the New Orleans Police Department.  How many results would I get?  Hundreds and hundreds.  I can search for New Orleans Police Department employees who live in Metairie.  I can search for New Orleans Police Department employees who graduated from Brother Martin High School.  There is a lot of information on Facebook.

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Image via CrunchBase

There are people who would advocate that law enforcement officers should immediately deactivate their Facebook profile if you have one or continue to stay away if you do not.  While I do not necessarily share the same extreme views, there is merit to this position.  If you enjoy Facebook or want to enjoy Facebook, you should do it.  Keep in mind the expanse of information contained therein.  This advice is really for everyone:  If you have a Facebook account or are thinking about creating one, familiarize yourself with the privacy options.  But know that there is someone who can get to your data even if you employ the most severe privacy settings.

A couple of quick observations:

In the early morning hours of February 23, 2013, Police Officer John Passaro of the New

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New Orleans Police Department (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Orleans Police Department was shot in the line of duty.  At 8:13 p.m. on February 23, 2013 a story appeared on NOLA.COM titled “Shooting of NOPD Officer Reminds Local Law Enforcement of Dangers They Face Daily.”  The title of the article is certainly a true statement.  The final six paragraphs of the article came directly from Officer Passaro’s Facebook page.  Fortunately, the reporter was not looking to blast Officer Passaro and Officer Passaro’s Facebook page was not full of statements which could be taken out of context or used to embarrass him or his family.  I am sure you all know someone who would not be as lucky if their Facebook page was published in the newspaper.

In Virginia, six employees of the Hampton Sheriff’s Office were fired for supporting the incumbent Sheriff’s opponent.  One of those employees was fired because he clicked Like on the candidate’s Facebook page.  In Graph Search, I can search for New Orleans Police Department employees who like Bobby Jindal.  This case (Bland v. Roberts) is currently on appeal in Virginia, but the district court held that clicking like was insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection.

In Steubenville, Ohio, several high school football players were accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party pictures and videos were uploaded to Facebook.  These pictures were deleted shortly after they were posted.  Football is very big in Ohio and there were allegations of a cover up because some of the alleged perpetrators were star football players.  In response to this cover up, members of the hacker group Anonymous hacked into various social media accounts and were successful in retrieving the previously deleted pictures and videos which they turned over to the national media.

In California, amidst a fight over public records, members of Anonymous posted the names and addresses of six Long Beach police officers along with names and ages of family members.

Take the time to review your security and privacy settings in Facebook.  For example, I would recommend activating Login Approvals and Login Notifications.  Login Approvals can be found in Account Settings under Security.  Login Approval requires you to enter a code which is texted to you each time you log in to Facebook on a different computer.  It keeps track of the computers you authorize so you only have to enter the code once.  Of course you can also remove devices or computers from the list of authorized devices later if you want.  Login Notifications will notify you if someone logs in to your Facebook account.  On the same page, you can check Active Sessions which will tell you everywhere your Facebook account is logged in.  From there, you can close sessions which you may not want to continue or that you did not authorize in the first place.

Remember not to put too much personal information on Facebook.  Your birthday is just as valuable to some as your social security number.  Also, you may be a huge fan of the 2nd Amendment, but clicking like on all those NRA pages or reposting all of those gun rights pictures secretly sponsored by the NRA is likely to make you look like a gun nut if you are involved in a shooting.  Familiarize yourself with all of the settings that restrict (or grant) access to the things that you post.  There is a link to Privacy Shortcuts on the menu bar between the Home link and the settings button.

There is a lot of information on this topic on the Internet.  Take some time and do some reading.  For example, this article on Lifehacker provides some good information.  It may pay off later.

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