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.
  • 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

FOP Statement in Support of IAFF Local 632

On February 7, 2020, the leadership of IAFF Local 632, representing the firefighters of the New Orleans Fire Department, met with Mayor LaToya Cantrell, CAO Gilbert Montaño, and other New Orleans administration members. At that time, IAFF Local 632 President Aaron Mischler brought up matters previously agreed to by administration representatives at a prior meeting I attended on behalf of the Crescent City Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. President Mischler stated that the senior administration officials disavowed agreements made by their representatives at the prior meeting I attended in November 2019. This disavowal led IAFF Local 632 members to declare that they would no longer be accepting off-duty details and extra-duty voluntary assignments.

The Crescent City Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, representing over 1,000 active NOPD officers, as well as another 1,000 retired members, support the actions taken by President Mischler on behalf of IAFF Local 632. The FOP is committed to maintaining the integrity of the New Orleans Civil Service system. The FOP supports the decision by IAFF Local 632 to insist that the administration honor its prior commitments.

The NOPD and the NOFD have been experiencing manpower shortages for several years now. Currently, the NOPD is still about 400 police officers short of manpower goals. The NOPD still lacks the resources necessary to provide the people of New Orleans with the level of service they are entitled to. After replacing long-tenured members of the Civil Service Commission, Mayor Landrieu’s new Commissioners passed new rules that touched on many aspects of public, civil service employment. Many of these rule changes came at the urging of the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region. The introduction of the political influence resulting in the adoption of these new rules and political influence in hiring and promotions are exactly what the civil service provisions in the Louisiana Constitution sought to prevent. Now, the CAO, a political appointee of the Mayor seeks to have unprecedented control over promotions through the use of unchecked authority. This is the kind of political instability that keeps us from reaching manpower goals.

It is crucial that we, the people who live, work, and visit New Orleans, strive to maintain the integrity of the civil service system in New Orleans. In private employment, hiring and promotion decisions made for political reasons, or other unknown, questionable reasons, are taken care of by the market by benefitting the competition. In public employment, there is no competition. There is no market to regulate questionable employment decisions. The Legislature and the people of Louisiana put the regulation in the Louisiana Constitution.

The Crescent City Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police urges the city administration and the members of the Civil Service Commission to seriously consider the years of experience in public service its members and the members of IAFF Local 632 have. Our interest is only to enable the NOPD and NOFD to provide the best service to the people who live in, work in, and visit the City of New Orleans and to work toward a fair and equitable system of employment as governed by the Louisiana Constitution.

The Fraternal Order of Police is the world’s largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 330,000 members in more than 2,200 lodges. There are about 6,000 FOP members in Louisiana, 2,000 of those in New Orleans. We are the voice of those who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving our communities. We are committed to improving the working conditions of law enforcement officers and the safety of those we serve through education, legislation, information, community involvement, and employee representation. No one knows the dangers and the difficulties faced by today’s police officers better than another officer, and no one knows police officers better than the FOP.

Donovan Livaccari
2/13/2020

Critical Incidents

There have already been two critical incidents in 2020. Whether you are inclined to believe these types of things come in 3’s or not, it can not hurt to be prepared. We have Mardi Gras around the corner, and the number of complaints has not declined in any meaningful way in New Orleans. So, better to be prepared.

The FOP Legal Defense Plan performed well, as usual. After receiving the call, I was able to get to the scene in a timely fashion to explain the process to the involved officers. My officers got everything done and are prepared for what’s to come. I made sure they understand that the FOP, in general, and I, specifically, will be with them until the conclusion of the investigation and anything else that potentially flows from the incident. For example, since the officers were placed on administrative reassignment, I made sure they were aware of the benefits provided by the FOP’s Family Fund for which they were eligible.

There were quite a few members of the most recently graduated Academy class who did not join the FOP yet. We thought that was because the recruits were erroneously being told they could not join while they were still in the Academy. Unfortunately, what I learned was that many had joined another organization because they (the other organization) had visited with the recruit class “so many times” that it seemed like the thing to do. Compared to the 15 minutes allocated to the FOP two days before graduation, it makes sense how that comes to be. Now, the FOP’s membership still includes more than 90% of all active police officers. So, history tells us that regardless of organizational affiliation on graduation day, veteran officers choose the FOP and the FOP Legal Defense Plan. I would not work a single day without the FOP’s Legal Defense Plan in my back pocket. There is no downside to exercising the right to counsel guaranteed by the Louisiana Police Officer’s Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

As usual, we are there for you. All you need to do is call, text, or call.

2019 FOP Legal for NOPD

Each year, I like to take a look back at the preceding year to give the members of the Crescent City Lodge of the FOP an overview of the disciplinary system in New Orleans and the services I provided to members of the FOP Legal Defense Plan. It has been pretty consistent the past few years and this year is no different.

I would like to start by pointing out that every case, whether you are an accused officer or a witness officer is the kind of case you should call me about. I regularly have officers tell me that they didn’t call because they didn’t think it was a big deal or because I might be too busy for them. Unfortunately, this commonly happens after a not so big deal has become a big deal. I have been representing police officers since I graduated from law school. So, I understand that officers don’t always get a whole lot of notice before finding themselves involved in an investigation or being notified of a Civil Service extension hearing. My practice has been built around those types of cases from the beginning.

You are guaranteed legal representation by the Louisiana Police Officer’s Bill of Rights. You should always take advantage of that. Having a legal representative has a number of benefits. First of all, I will make sure your rights as listed in La. R.S. 40:2531 are protected. Hopefully, we can avoid little to nothing cases turning into a big deal. Having an attorney from the FOP Legal Plan also makes you eligible for the Salary Reimbursement Option where the FOP will repay you for up to 5 suspension days in lieu of appealing the disciplinary action. There is no downside to exercising your right to counsel.

I would also like to emphasize that when I represent a police officer through the FOP’s  Legal Defense Plan, The attorney-client relationship exists between me and the officer I represent, not the FOP. So, any privilege exists between me and the officer. Any decisions are made based on conversations between me and the officer. If you are a member of the FOP Legal Defense Plan, we will be there for you. We don’t ask any questions or make any judgments. The FOP does not interfere in my representation of any Legal Plan member. There is no downside to exercising your right to counsel.

In 2019, I represented 412 individual officers in one capacity of another. There were at least 726 PIB control #’s cut by the NOPD in 2019. There were certainly more than that.

In 2019, I represented officers at 237 interviews (statements) with investigators as part of formal disciplinary investigations. I represented officers at 100 pre-disciplinary hearings. I represented officers in 11 Rule 9 hearings, 36 Accident Review Board hearings, and 111 extension request hearings. I represented 13 officers in 5 officer-involved shootings.

I would expect 2020 to look a lot like 2019. Feel free to call and I will be there for you — there is no downside to exercising your right to counsel.

FYI – Civil Service Appeals

Rule II, Section 4.3 of the Rules for the New Orleans Civil Service Commission state as follows:

“Appeals to the Commission must be actually received in the Department of Civil Service no later than the close of business on the thirtieth (30th) calendar day following the date of the disciplinary letter provided to the employee by the Appointing Authority. Should the thirtieth (30th) calendar day fall on a weekend or an official city holiday, written appeals will be accepted no later than the close of business on the workday immediately following. The date the appeal is date/time stamped in the Civil Service Office shall be presumed to be the date of receipt of an appeal. (amended June 10, 1982; August 25, 1983; January 21, 1988, effective February 1, 1988).”

Why is this important? This is important because if you want to appeal discipline taken against you, the appeal has to be filed in a timely manner.

IF YOU DO NOT FILE THE APPEAL WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS OF IMPOSITION OF THE DISCIPLINE, THEN THEY WILL ALLOW YOU TO FILE AN APPEAL, BUT IT WILL BE THROWN OUT WHEN THE CITY FILES A MOTION FOR SUMMARY DISPOSITION.

I habitually explain to my officers upon conclusion of a disciplinary hearing the following information:

  1. The hearing officer (Commander, Deputy Chief, Superintendent’s Disciplinary Committee) only makes a recommendation because only the Superintendent of Police (the Appointing Authority) can institute discipline.
  2. The fact that a pre-disciplinary hearing has been held does not mean the FDI (Formal Disciplinary Investigation) is complete.
  3. The recommended discipline has to go up the chain of command. Assuming everyone who has to sign does so after circling “APPROVED,” the case goes to a stack of cases awaiting disciplinary letters.
  4. It is not complete until you receive “cause expressed in writing” as required by the Louisiana Constitution. That “cause expressed in writing” is memorialized in the form of a disciplinary letter. That letter is written on NOPD letterhead and signed by the Superintendent.
  5. There is no telling when you might be issued the disciplinary letter. You will receive a phone call, an email, or some type of notice that you need to report to PIB to sign for the disciplinary letter.
  6. This letter is important for several reasons.
    1. First and foremost, it satisfies the requirements of the Louisiana Constitution.
    2. Secondly, it starts the clock on the 30 days you have to file an appeal as specified in New Orleans Civil Service Commission Rule II, Section 4.3 as quoted above. The date typed on the top of that letter is the date used to start counting the 30 days.
    3. Since you are a good FOP member, if you choose not to appeal, you can send that letter to me for the FOP’s Salary Reimbursement Option.
    4. The letter also says when the suspension starts (assuming suspension time is involved).
  7. Whatever appeal hearing follows is limited to the contents of the disciplinary letter.
  8. FINALLY, THE NOPD DOES NOT PROVIDE ME A COPY OF THE DISCIPLINARY LETTER. YOU, MY OFFICER CLIENT, HAVE TO LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU GET THE DISCIPLINARY LETTER. THIS IS CRUCIAL BECAUSE WHILE I WILL FILE THE APPEAL AND I CAN GET IT FILED THE SAME DAY I RECEIVED THE DISCIPLINARY LETTER, 31 DAYS IS TOO MANY.

Who is entitled to an appeal? New Orleans Civil Service Commission Rule II, Sec. 4.1 reads as follows:

“Regular employees in the classified service shall have the right to appeal disciplinary actions to the Commission, including dismissal, involuntary retirement, demotion, suspension, fine, reduction in pay, or letters of reprimand as defined in Rule I. However, a demotion, reinstatement to a lower classification, transfer, reduction in pay or layoff resulting from the application of the provisions of Rule XII governing layoffs shall not be considered a disciplinary action and thus shall not warrant an appeal except as provided in Sections 4.5 and 9.1 of Rule II. (amended June 10, 1982; May 19, 1988, effective June 1, 1988, amended February 17, 2014, effective March 1, 2014).”

New Orleans Civil Service Commission Rule I, Sec. 1, Paragraph 66 defines “Regular Employee” as:

“an employee who has been appointed to a position in the classified service in accordance with the Law and these Rules and who has completed the working test period.”

That translates to employees who have successfully completed any probationary period.

Have questions? You know what to do.

Disciplinary Investigations and Off-Duty Conduct

This time of year, it is inevitable that an officer or two get in trouble for off-duty conduct. Sometimes the off-duty conduct leads to significant disciplinary action. The FOP will be there for you, as always, but, generally speaking, it is easy to avoid the off-duty behavior that comes to the attention of the Public Integrity Bureau, or Internal Affairs as the case may be.

The vast majority of discipline related to off-duty conduct is related to sex or the use of alcohol.

As police officers, you see it every single day. People who have been drinking make poor decisions. I’m just going to go ahead and say the obvious – Police Officers who have been drinking make poor decisions too. You may be able to get some professional courtesy on a regular traffic stop (and you might not – some officers are real nervous with a BWC and an ICC recording their every word and move), but if you are involved in an accident, the officer may not have any choice but to take action. A close relative of mine was stopped by an officer who used to be one of my subordinates. We did not have a contentious relationship and I helped him out quite a bit. I was surprised to learn that particular officer had arrested someone he knew to be a close relative of mine when he could have just as easily given him a ride home. My relative had not been involved in an accident or anything like that, it was a simple traffic stop. The point is that today’s political atmosphere makes it less likely that officers exercise any type of discretion.

It’s not just driving either. Alcohol can make it seem like a good idea to start an argument with the guy sitting on the barstool next to his. Alcohol can make it seem like a good idea to start a fight with an ex-husband. Did you know it is legal for an officer to carry a concealed firearm in an alcoholic beverage outlet? La. R.S. 14:95.5 allows it, as does the federal laws known as LEOSA. If, however, you think it is a good idea to carry a concealed weapon in a barroom, I would have to ask you if you are drinking while reading this. Just don’t do it. Just FYI, you are not covered by LEOSA if you are intoxicated. Also, for the New Orleans Police Department, Rule 3, Professional Conduct, Paragraph 9, Use of Alcohol/Drugs Off Duty, says that commissioned personnel are forbidden from carrying firearms in an ABO, while consuming alcohol, or while intoxicated. Part of that rule may still violate LEOSA, but La. R.S. 14:95.5 allows the Superintendent to make it a violation of Department rules to carry a firearm in an ABO.

Sex is the next source of off-duty disciplinary action. It is not a good idea to hook up with people you meet on calls for service. It does not matter if they are the complainant or the subject of the complaint.

If you come across someone who looks like they could use a ride home, make sure it is to their home and not yours. Make sure the dispatcher knows about it and that all of the transport mileages are recorded. Finally, make sure all of the recording devices you carry around these days are activated.

There are also police officers involved in abusive relationships. Now, I understand this is not as simple as just saying “don’t do it.” I would, however, like to encourage any officer involved in an abusive relationship to seek help. At the New Orleans Police Department, Cecile Tebo is available at no cost through the Office Assistance Program to help however she can. No matter where you are or what department you work for, there is help available somewhere. Take advantage of that help before you lose your job over it.

The standard, as is always the case, is that the alleged infraction must bear a real and substantial relationship to the efficient operation of the public service. The Courts in Louisiana have applied that rule fairly liberally. That means that if your Department believes there is a real and substantial relationship between the alleged dereliction and the efficient operation of the public service, the Courts are likely to go along with that.

As we are recently reminded by the Louisiana Supreme Court, neither the Commission nor a reviewing court should “second-guess” an appointing authority’s decisions. See Lange v. Orleans Levee District, 10–0140, p. 17 (La.11/30/10), 56 So.3d 925, 936. The Commission and a reviewing court may intervene only when the appointing authority’s decisions are arbitrary and capricious or characterized by an abuse of discretion. Id. Moreover, neither the Commission nor the reviewing court may serve as a de facto pardon board. Id. “[S]ympathy is not a legal standard.” Id.

Chinh Nguyen v. Dep’t of Police, 2011-0570 (La. App. 4 Cir. 8/31/11), 72 So. 3d 939, 944.
I hope everyone has had an enjoyable Holiday Season and that none of this advice is necessary. If it becomes necessary, call me.

Tropical Storm Barry and the FLSA

UPDATE 3 (8/1/19) There is still some discussion of pay for time worked during the State of Emergency for Hurricane Barry. Here is my best interpretation of the circumstances as they exist today:

Continue reading

NOFD Promotion Case and New Orleans Civil Service Rules

There has been a bit of talk lately about “Astroturfing.” For those of you who aren’t familiar with the idea of astroturfing, it is when advocates for a certain issue or matter solicit people who aren’t really interested in the issue to appear and give the appearance that there is more support for or opposition the issue at hand. It recently came to light with regard to Entergy’s use of paid actors to appear before the New Orleans City Council to advocate for a new Entergy power plant. The article linked here is about the City Council investigating the use of paid actors by Entergy.

You may be asking yourself what this has to do with the New Orleans Civil Service Commission’s recent decision about whether the New Orleans Fire Department complied with the Civil Service Rules and the Louisiana Constitution. This decision by the Civil Service Commission was in response to the NOFD’s “appeal” of the New Orleans Personnel Director’s decision in appeals by NOFD employees who took the Captain’s test and felt as though they had been improperly passed over for promotion pursuant to Civil Service Rule VI, Sec. 6.1. The Civil Service Commission couldn’t actually act in an appellate capacity, so they conducted an investigation of the NOFD promotions and whether those promotions complied with Civil Service Rules and the Louisiana Constitution. So, the Civil Service Commission’s decision did not overrule the Personnel Director’s decision.

The Personnel Director’s decision held that the NOFD botched promotions in almost every conceivable way. She held that NOFD violated Civil Service Rule VI, Sec. 2.1, 2.3, and 3.1. The Personnel Director also held that NOFD violated the EEOC’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. The Personnel Director went on to recommend that some of the people passed over should be promoted and that the rules should be modified to prevent the types of overreaches by the NOFD.

The Civil Service Commission tried their best to decide that the NOFD did nothing wrong. However, given the facts, that was impossible. So, the Civil Service Commission’s decision held that NOFD complied with the Civil Service Rules but they did not comply with the requirements of Louisiana Constitution Art. X, Sec. 7, which requires that promotions be made after consideration of merit, efficiency, fitness, and length of service, as ascertained by examination, which should be competitive. They concluded that since so much time passed between filing appeals and the decisions that followed that there wasn’t much they could do except pledge to put safeguards in place to prevent this from happening again.

I know there is still no connection to astroturfing. Here are my thoughts on that: The Civil Service Commission goes out of its way to cite a number of individuals and groups who testified in support of the Great Place to Work Initiative (GPTWI) when it was being discussed before being passed. For those who don’t know, GPTWI is where we lost some protections like the rule of 3 as it pertains to promotions. I suggest that GPTWI is where we lost competitive promotions in the City of New Orleans. It is also where many city employees lost all faith in the overall fairness and transparency of the promotional process. Anyway, the decision cites Andy Kopplin, who was CAO at the time, Dr. Charlotte Parent, the Director of the Department of Health at the time, as well as NOFD Superintendent Timothy McConnell, and other Mayoral appointees. The decision also cites the Bureau of Governmental Research and Bright Moments — more cheerleaders for former Mayor Landrieu.

When the public comments on the GPTWI began, it was quickly obvious that the Civil Service Commission’s meeting room would be insufficient to hold the people who wanted to comment on the proposed rule changes. The Commission moved the meeting to the City Council Chambers to accommodate the larger-than-average audience. The first day in the City Council Chambers didn’t disappoint. The Chambers were full of employees and former employees who were lined up to speak out against the proposed rule changes. You could count the number of people speaking in favor of the GPTWI on one hand and those people clearly had an incentive to speak up — they held positions appointed by the Mayor.

It was pretty obvious that some phone calls were made after the poor showing on day 1 in the Chambers. On day 2, a few more people showed up to testify in favor of GPTWI. The Bureau of Governmental Research and a few other groups, or at least some leaders from those groups, came to testify in favor of the GPTWI.

This is just another form of astroturfing. The Mayor lined up people who were indebted to him in one fashion or another and solicited their support for an issue they had little to no real interest in. These folks testified before the Commission and gave media interviews in support of Mayor Landrieu’s initiative. My guess is that if the records have not already been destroyed that a public records request would probably reveal emails, phone calls, and meetings with the folks that appeared in favor of the initiative soliciting their appearance. The most disturbing part of all this is that after overwhelming comment in opposition to the GPTWI combined with the lackluster commitment shown by those who actually testified in favor of the rule changes, the Civil Service Commission still voted to enact the “reforms” with little, if any, discussion. The only difference between this type of astroturfing and the type of astroturfing used by Entergy is that Landrieu’s people only needed to give the appearance of influencing the Commissioners. The real influencing had already been done.

I expect to see a decision in the NOPD promotion appeals soon. It should be close to the NOFD decision. The only real way to remedy this problem is to change the Rules. A change reinstating the Rule of 3 and the banding system in use before GPTWI would restore some confidence in the promotional system in New Orleans. More importantly, it would protect our public servants, and the public, from the favoritism, discrimination, political interference, etc. that are the inevitable consequence of giving each appointing authority an unlimited amount of discretion.

Assessment Center Prep

The Fraternal Order of Police will be having two classroom training dates to help members of the NOPD prepare for the December 20, 2017 Sergeants Exam Assessment Center.

On December 9 and December 16, 2016, NOPD Commander Louie Dabdoub will be teaching his successful assessment center methodology on behalf of the FOP.

The December 9 class will be held at the NOPD Academy and will begin at 3:00 pm.

The December 16 class will be held at Lakeview Presbyterian Church, located at 5914 Canal Blvd. and will begin at 3:00 pm.

It is likely that both of these classes will last several hours.

Since the assessment center is just a few weeks ago, we decided to post a video of the introductory lecture here for officers to review. Download the two-page method steps here. You will need it.

Feel free to watch these videos as many times as you need. At the classroom sessions, Commander Dabdoub will apply these steps to actual scenarios and give feedback on answers given by the class.

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Click here to download the Civil Service Department’s NOPD Sergeant Work-Sample Test.