The U.S. Supreme Court on 2 police cases with a good comment by National Fraternal Order of Police President Pat Yoes.
The following only applies to employees of the New Orleans Police Department.
After much back and forth with the City Administration, CAO Policy Memo 146 goes into effect today, October 18, 2021, for employees of the City of New Orleans. CAO Policy Memo 146 requires all employees to show proof of total vaccination (14 days after 2nd shot or 1 shot vaccine) or a negative test result. Employees without proof of vaccination on file with their HR person will have to present one (1) negative test per week to enter a City worksite. This constitutes a reduction from the initial policy that required 2 negative tests per week.
Employees of the New Orleans Police Department should familiarize themselves with the current version of Special Order 2-2021. SO 2-2021 outlines the specific procedures for NOPD employees as it relates to CAO Policy Memo 146.
There is a list of testing sites, including free testing sites at https://ready.nola.gov/incident/coronavirus/testing/?utm_source=NOLAReady&utm_medium=banner. There are more COVID-19 resources available at ready.NOLA.gov.
If you are an NOPD employee who has to get tested weekly, please keep a detailed record of the following:
- Keep a log of any and all time expended getting tested, if that testing is not during regular working hours. In other words, if you aren’t being carried regular working by your regular assignment when you leave to get tested, then you need to record the hours you spent getting tested. If you are leaving from home, start the time when you leave your home and end it when you return home. If you are leaving from or going to somewhere else, count the driving time to the testing site and end it when you are done with the testing.
- Keep a log and receipts of any and all monetary expenses associated with testing.
For now, the city employees getting tested weekly should keep the log of time and expenses in case we need it later for legal actions. If you don’t keep these records it could exclude you from benefitting later.
Please contact me about these records in New Orleans and I will be happy to discuss it further. We will be taking the necessary actions on behalf of our members to protect our members. These records will be key to our success in protecting our members. You can email these records to me if you want. I will keep them for you. You can take pictures of receipts and text them to me if you want. The Crescent City Lodge of the FOP is here for you.
The City of New Orleans has stated that it does not intend to grant any exemptions to this CAO Policy Memo 146. That being said, if you are an FOP member who would like to request an exemption to this policy, you are welcome to contact me. Generally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides for exemptions to these types of policies based on disabilities that prevent vaccination or sincerely held religious beliefs. An employer could have to grant a reasonable accommodation for employees with a disability that prevents the employee from getting vaccinated. Similar reasonable accommodations might have to be granted for employees with a sincerely held religious belief that prevents the employee from being vaccinated.
NOPD officer should be careful submitting exemption requests. They cannot be untruthful. Untruthful requests could subject the employee to disciplinary action. As I stated above, I am happy to assist FOP members with formulating an exemption request.
Any exemption request based on disability would have to explain what disability the exemption seeker had and how that disability interferes with the ability to take the vaccine. Any exemption request based on a sincerely held religious belief would have to be backed up by the religious customs the exemption seeker regularly observed. This would probably only include the Jehova’s Witnesses. All that being said, it is important to remember that if an exemption request were granted, the outcome would be that the exemption seeker would have to comply with the testing provisions of the policy as the policy contains both the mandate and the reasonable accommodation.
If you are sent home unauthorized leave without pay, please contact me immediately. This will be appealable to the Civil Service Commission. Contact me immediately if you are an NOPD employee who is sent home unauthorized leave without pay.
Again, this article only applies to employees of the New Orleans Police Department as of this time. NOPD officers should check back regularly for updates.
Promotions to the position of Senior Police Officer has been one of the FOP’s top priorities since the NOPD first made Senior Police Officers. Out of all of the issues currently facing NOPD employees, this may be the one I heard about the most. The following email was sent out on October 5, 2021. I urge everyone who is eligible to take the steps necessary to get promoted. This is a non competitive promotion. In other words, you have to meet the minimum requirements and take the requisite classes to get promoted.
Everything has to be done by November 5, 2021. That only leaves 1 month to get everything done. If there is someone who is out for some reason, please make sure they have this information.
Who is eligible to be promoted? Any NOPD officer with 3 years experience as a Police Officer or Police Officer 1 is eligible as long as the training is completed and the training certificate is submitted by November 5, 2021. An NOPD officer becomes a Police Officer when the officer graduates from the academy. So, to be promoted, an officer has to have graduated from the academy by November 5, 2018. Any officer who graduated from the academy on or before November 5, 2018 would have permanent status.
Pay particular attention to the date everything needs to be completed: November 5, 2021. The (1) registration much be completed, (2) the training must be completed, and (3) the course completion certificates must be submitted no later than NOVEMBER 5, 2021. It will be difficult to complete this training in one day. The point is: Don’t wait until November 5 to try to do it all
The email announcing the promotional courses read as follows:
Superintendent Shaun D. Ferguson is proud to announce on-line training modules in anticipation for the promotional position of Senior Police Officer.
Minimum qualification requirements for this application include:
- Permanent status as a Police Officer with NOPD. Three (3) years of experience with NOPD in any combination of Police Officer or Police Officer I.
- Successful completion of the current New Orleans Police Academy Police Officer II, III, IV, or Senior Police Officer training program.
- A letter from the Police Education and Training Division certifying successful completion of this training must be submitted.
The opening date for this training is effective with this message. All future applicants for promotion to the Senior Police Officer position must complete the assigned training curriculum and submit the required course completion certificates no later than November 5, 2021.
SENIOR POLICE OFFICER TRAINING PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS:
The Academy has formulated a SPO curriculum that will be delivered in a series of web-based training courses. Candidates are required to complete a total of five interactive courses offered by the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation (sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services – COPS Program). The VCPI “E-Learn Center” offers 24/7 access to these courses which include a variety of learning tools, multi-media segments, and exercises. Officers may access this training website on personal time from any computer with Internet connectivity. The modules can be paused and resumed to the location where discontinued. Participants will be able to print a certificate of training upon successfully passing each course examination.
SENIOR POLICE OFFICER CURRICULUM:
I. ETHICAL DECISION MAKING: POLICING WITH PRINCIPLED INSIGHT Synopsis – EDM explores the practice of decision making and the ethical principles that support effective policing. EDM stresses that police ethics are not just an after-thought or a means of discouraging bad behavior, with public trust integrity and liability hinging on each and every decision. Ethics are a controlling insight that informs and guides police practitioners from an internal personal capacity while exploring realistic modern-day challenges faced in the policing profession.
Run Time: 2 hours Completion Time: 4 hours
II. COMMUNITY POLICING DEFINED Synopsis – Provides participants with a basic awareness and understanding of the fundamental principles and best practices of community policing. Describes the practice of community policing while also examining how it can be effectively applied. The course explores partnerships, problem solving, and organizational transformation as they relate to specific issues and challenges facing today’s law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve.
Run Time: 4 hours Completion Time: 8 hours
III. COMMUNITY POLICING: IMPROVING POLICE EFFICACY AND BUILDING TRUST Synopsis – Explores how emerging issues are necessitating a commitment to the key components of community policing: partnerships, organizational transformation, and problem solving. The course includes an examination of the current state of policing—both locally and nationally— addressing the current and emerging issues that challenge the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies and the well-being of the communities they serve. CPIPEBT challenges participants to explore the principles and practices of community policing as a means of achieving the public safety mission with greater efficiency by gaining and maintaining public trust and engaging the community in the shared responsibility of effective policing.
Run Time: 3 hours Completion Time: 6 hours
IV. PROBLEM ORIENTED POLICING: THE SARA MODEL Synopsis – Provides participants with a basic awareness and understanding of the fundamental principles of a common approach used by many community policing agencies to identify and solve repeat crime and community problems: the SARA model. The SARA model allows agencies to scan through multiple data sources, conduct a thorough analysis of a problem through the lens of the crime triangle, formulate a response, and continuously assess the impact of the response to the problem.
Run Time: 1 hour Completion Time: 2 hours
V. CRIME REDUCTION: ENFORCEMENT AND PREVENTION STRATEGIES Synopsis – Designed to provide participants with an overview of best practices for crime reduction, including guidelines for implementing an organizational model for crime reduction at all levels within a police department. The course offers useful strategies for problem solving in order to develop immediate, short-term, and long-term responses to crime within a community.
Run Time: 2 hours Completion Time: 4 hours
INSTRUCTIONS FOR ON-LINE TRAINING:
Eligible SPO candidates shall access the VCPI website at VCPI (vcpionline.org) and click on the “LOG-IN” screen. From there click on the “CREATE AN ACCOUNT” heading to register as a new user.
Upon access to the E-Learn Center you will be prompted to a menu in the left corner titled “STUDENT DASHBOARD”, from there access the “VIEW/REGISTER FOR COURSES” and then click “REGISTER MYSELF” to take each of the SPO required training modules.
A tutorial on how to use the commands is provided initially and can be viewed at any time by clicking on the “help” button on the top right of the screen. The modules are sequential and cannot be opened out of order. Officers taking the courses must complete all pages and each tab/insert within each page to be eligible for the certification exam. If at any time you exit the modules, reentry will allow you to go back to the location where you left off.
SUBMITTAL OF TRAINING CERTIFICATES: Upon completion of the modules and the course exams, you will be able to click on the final section to print the “Certificate”. The five completed certificates (in total) shall be personally delivered to the front desk receptionist at the Police Academy Monday thru Friday between the hours of 8AM and 3PM. DO NOT EMAIL CERTIFICATES.If you experience any difficulties with the on-line training, contact Duane Johnson, Academy Curriculum Director, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Click here to download the list of candidates for Police Captain from the Civil Service Department. This list has not been re-ordered pursuant to CAO Policy Memo 143(R) yet.
I am sure that all of our NOPD membership has heard about CAO Policy Memo No. 146 mandating vaccinations. The policy was initially set to become effective on August 30 and that was changed to September 20 due to Hurricane Ida. I have been in communication with City Hall on this matter in order to address problems with the policy. Implementation of CAO Policy Memo No. 146 has been postponed to October 18 so that these issues can be resolved.
Here are some of the issues raised on behalf of FOP members:
- The policy did not give employees who wanted to become fully vaccinated in order to comply with policy time to do so.
- If an employee was not vaccinated, that employee would have to get tested twice a week.
- The policy did not address the cost of testing.
- The policy did not address when you are supposed to get tested.
- The policy did not address what happened if you were not vaccinated and did not have the negative tests.
I am not going to get deep into the issues above, but sending people home without pay is a suspension and is appealable to the Civil Service Commission. There is a state law that says an employer cannot saddle an employee with the cost of medical tests. Also, the FLSA makes the time spent getting tested off duty compensable time.
I think it is important to say that this policy will be effective soon. There is no real chance that anyone will intervene in the implementation of this policy. Courts have upheld vaccination mandates.
We will continue working on these and other issues so that we can make the workplace as safe as possible while protecting the rights of FOP members. If you have begun the vaccination process, now is a good time to get that finished so that you won’t have to worry about getting negative test results on a regular basis. There is no reason to believe this policy will not be in place on October 18, 2021.
I received numerous phone calls and texts about an email that originated with NOPD Payroll this afternoon stating emergency pay will not be on the payroll check dated 9/17/21. This is a preliminary response to those inquiries.
The NOPD’s payroll is opposite all other city employees. When NOPD has a pay day, everyone else has a week to go.
Today, NOPD was told that the FAL forms had to be turned in by Thursday to be processed for payroll the following week. However, NOPD’s payroll was locked Monday morning because NOPD’s payroll is opposite all other city employees.
Therefore, the Emergency Rate of Pay, which is calculated based on the FAL forms, cannot be entered prior to payroll being locked because payroll is already locked and the 9/17/21 checks will include overtime but not the Emergency Rate of Pay.
I got this question: What is the difference between emergency pay and overtime? Emergency pay is generated as a result of Civil Service Rule IV Sec. 11.1(a) which says that if there is a declared state of emergency and only essential employees are required to report to work, then those employees required to report to work will be compensated at a rate of time and one-half. Overtime is dictated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires employers to pay time and one-half for all hours worked in excess of 85.5 hours in a 2-week cycle (for police employees).
Under these unfortunate circumstances, NOPD employees will get their overtime paid on the regular paycheck, but might have to wait for the emergency pay.
One other bonus, Mayor Cantrell announced that those employees engaged in “disaster recovery” would continue to get an extra 5% pay even though City Hall is open pursuant to Civil Service Rule IV, Sec. 11.1(d).
I will post any updates.
Yesterday, it was impossible not to think about the events that occurred on 9/11 twenty years ago. I remember clearly being with Dave Kirsch, Jeff Winn, and Vinny Tumminello at 1700 Moss Street on 9/11/01. On 9/12, we had a better idea of what actually happened. Of the 2,977 victims of the 9/11 attacks, 412 were first responders. In the 9/11 attacks, 343 firefighters were killed, 37 Port Authority Police Department police officers were killed, 23 NYPD officers were killed, 8 EMT’s were killed, 3 New York Court Officers were killed, and 1 patrolman with the New York Fire Patrol was killed. Of course, many others were killed and severely injured working at Ground Zero and breathing the dust and debris while searching for victims in the rubble of the WTC buildings.
The 20th anniversary of 9/11 gave me a minute to stop thinking about what Hurricane Ida did to the City of New Orleans. I guess it would be more accurate to say that it gave me a minute to stop thinking about what Hurricane Ida meant to me. It gave me the opportunity to think about the heroic first responders that lost their lives on that day and the days that followed instead of the damage to my roof and the named storm deductible I will have to figure out how to overcome.
I know the New Orleans Police Department is made up of officers who are similarly brave. While we have not had to face an attack like 9/11, I made it through Katrina. Unfortunately, there were plenty of officers who did not manage to make it through Katrina. However, there was no such problem during Hurricane Ida. Some NOPD officers had to sleep in their cars to overcome the lack of electricity, but they showed up for work in the face of a category IV hurricane whose eye passed 20 miles from New Orleans. The current batch of NOPD officers, much like the batch of officers who handled their business in 2005, honored the badge and took care of their responsibilities to both their families and New Orleanians who sheltered in place and New Orleanians who evacuated.
As I said yesterday, things at the New Orleans Police Department appear to be returning to normal. We will be working on promotions, vaccinations, and other issues facing the FOP membership as a whole and I will be working on Formal Disciplinary Investigations, Civil Service appeals, and other Legal Defense issues facing individual FOP members. 90% of the New Orleans Police Department belongs to the FOP. If you are part of the 10% that does not belong to the FOP, you may want to ask yourself if this is the time to make the jump. If you are part of the 90%, don’t hesitate to call me for anything.
20 years ago today, I was reporting to a new assignment at the Special Operations Division of the New Orleans Police Department. On September 7, 2001, newly minted Deputy Chief Marlon Defillo had told me that he was not going to be able to transfer me. I was surprised to see the transfer on September 9. Monday the 10th was a down day and on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was standing in an office at 1700 Moss Street watching the news at my new assignment. As you might imagine, things were a little hectic after the planes hit the buildings in New York.
Another date I remember vividly is August 29, 2005. I had just closed on a new house on August 17 and moved in on August 20. On August 29, 2005, I was assigned to the Traffic Division and my whole unit stayed on the 16th floor of 650 Poydras St. that night. Now, the 16th floor of 650 Poydras St. is home to the U.S. Dept. of Justice. However, in 2005, it was an empty floor of a downtown office building.
Today, we are also recovering from the impact of Hurricane Ida. My electricity was out for 7 days. There are people who are still out of electricity. Ida was not as bad as Katrina because the levees held. Otherwise, there are many similarities between Katrina and Ida. For me, the biggest difference is that we know power will be restored. When Katrina flooded the city, we did not know how that happened or how it would be fixed. There was a real concern in 2005 that Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River would rise to a level where they met in the city of New Orleans and the bowl would be filled to the top with water. There were a lot of unknowns in 2005, much like there were in 2001.
Today at 7:46 am (CDT), I got a notification from the New York Times about the 20th anniversary of 9/11. 8:46 am (EDT) was when the first plane hit the World Trade Center buillding in New York. I went out to cut my grass. One thing I learned from Katrina is that cutting the grass, cleaning the pool, whatever, helps when dealing with hurricane damage. I just need my insurance adjuster to come by.
Where do I stand?
I stand with you. I stand with the individual members of the New Orleans Police Department. I stand with the members of the Crescent City Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. I stand with the members of the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police. I stand with my brothers and sisters across the country and wherever else you can find members of the Fraternal Order of Police.
The men and women of the New Orleans Police Department did a fine job following Hurricane Ida. The men and women of law enforcement across Louisiana did a fine job following Hurricane Ida. Hurricane Ida was not done when it left Louisiana’s borders. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people impacted by Ida as it continued across the United States to its northeast corner.
Things are starting to return to normal in New Orleans. I have already begun to put statements on my calendar for the upcoming week. There are Civil Service extension hearings on the agenda for next Tuesday.
Call me if you have a statement or hearing coming up. Call me if you have any questions about anything that you may have coming up. I am ready to stand with you when you need it.