#NOPD Superdome Detail

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UPDATE:  I have been informed that a pay raise for the Superdome detail is official.  The detail rate for the Superdome will increase by $5.00 per hour effective July 1, 2015 – just in time for the Essence Festival.  Click here to see the email announcing the increase.

Looking for a way to make a little extra money?  Don’t really feel like completing trip sheets feeling out hot spots?  Wouldn’t work for OPSE if the world was coming to an end?  Just completed field training and can only work supervised details?  There is an option.

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NOPD Disciplinary Investigations Update (Updated)

As most officers are aware, the NOPD has interpreted the consent decree as requiring they investigate absolutely every allegation, no matter what it is.  I have seen formal disciplinary investigations of officers alleged to have “smirked,” “sighed loudly,” and “made go-golly eyes.”

Most of these investigations are receiving the appropriate disposition at the conclusion of the investigation.  However, one thing that I have noticed is that officers are being sustained for other, minor, administrative violations.

For example, one common sustained violation is for failing to complete an FIC card.  Officers should be aware that they are required to complete FIC entries on individuals they come into contact with regardless of whether that person is arrested, cited, or merely interviewed.  In the past, officers were not required to complete FIC’s for individuals who were arrested or cited.  Why complete an FIC when the information is being documented in-depth in an incident report?  The short answer is that the information, particularly arrested subjects versus not arrested subjects has to be maintained separately.  In any event, the current rule requires an FIC whether an incident report is completed or not.  Just the other day, I was involved with an investigation where an officer, who was not initially accused of anything, was sustained for failing to complete an FIC.

Next is detail forms and the detail database.  As we are all well aware, the consent decree has made a total mess of the paid detail system.  Who really knows if we are coming or going with anything regarding details?  It is a disaster.  The only upside is that hopefully this disaster will lead to pay raises (we’re working on it).  In any event, if you are working a paid detail that is not being managed by OPSE, you still need to have an NOPD Paid Detail Authorization form in for that detail.  Even if you are working an OPSE detail, you still need to call the dispatcher and get an item number, etc., when you get to the detail and you still need to enter that item number and other information into the detail self-reporting database the next time you are at work.  If there is a complaint regarding a detail, no matter what the complaint is, you can rest assured that PIB is going to check the detail authorization and the database in the course of the investigation.

Finally, I would like to point out FOB Policy 39.  FOB Policy 39 requires platoon sergeants to monitor how long calls have been holding and make call backs to complainants on any call holding more than 60 minutes.  I have seen a marked increase in the number of investigations alleging violations of FOB Policy 39.  I understand that this is a tall order when there is one sergeant, one desk officer, and two officers on the street.  However, when the complaint comes in that someone is upset they had to wait 3 or more hours for the police to arrive, you can rest assured that will be one of the first things PIB checks.  Sergeants have the option of asking the desk officer to make the call backs, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the sergeant to monitor the length of times calls are holding. That being said, I would keep an eye out for potential revisions to that policy that may require a more active part on behalf of the desk officer.  As it stands today, it is the sergeants responsibility.  Make sure that everything that is done in this regard is relayed to the dispatcher so that it is included on the complaint history for that item and is recorded on the dispatch channel.

UPDATE:  I would also like to mention MVU’s.  Just because you have those pretty body cameras does not mean that you do not have to worry about the in-car dash cams.  If you have an MVU that does not work for whatever reason, or you were never issued a USB key, please note that on your Trip Sheet every time.  It may not suffice to note it once.  When you get in a car, make sure to check the functionality of the dash cam every time.  If it is full, note it on your Trip Sheet.  If the front camera is missing, that does not mean that the cameras do not work.  Note it on your Trip Sheet.  Notify your supervisor.  Do it every day.  If the camera works, use it as described in the policy.  This is another thing that investigators routinely check in the course of a DI-1 investigation.

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#NOPD: Over the Precipice

NOPD: Over the Precipice

It will take over 40 years to return to full strength

The New Orleans Police Department has gone over the precipice. We may be beyond the point of return. And the blame rests clearly at the feet of Mayor Mitch Landrieu and NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas. They were both forewarned.

In February 2011, the Fraternal Order of Police issued the first hue and cry about the NOPD manpower crisis. For three years, in every news story and interview possible, we have repeated the mantra….”Manpower….Manpower…Manpower”. We have advocated the repeal of the domicile ordinance and we have opposed the tattoo policy. We have asked that the focus be turned to retention and the recruitment of fully trained, post certified lateral police officers.

In February 2011 there were 1415 commissioned New Orleans police officers.

Today, there are 1135 sworn officers – counting from Superintendent down to Field Recruit. Over 100 of those are unable to perform their duties due to serious injury, long-term illness or administrative reassignment.

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#NOPD Police Details #NOLA #FOP #FOPNO

detail mcEconomic Impact for the City of New Orleans

Sugar Bowl (2012) – $493.73 million (Metro New Orleans) http://www.allstatesugarbowl.org/site.php?pageID=19&newsID=564#.Uy3IA61dViY

NBA All Star Game – $90 million  http://gnosports.com/2014-new-orleans-host-committee-announces-successful-nba-star-game/

Mardi Gras – More than $500 million (Regional)  http://www.wdsu.com/news/entertainment/carnival-central-extended-coverage/new-orleans-prepares-to-implement-new-mardi-gras-rules/24569136#mid=18674480

French Quarter Fest – $259.5 million  http://fqfi.org/about.html

WrestleMania XXX – Unknown – Estimated 80,000 visitors   http://www.neworleanscvb.com/press-media/press-kit/whats-new/

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival – More than $300 million  http://www.forbes.com/sites/adrianalopez/2013/05/06/new-orleans-jazz-fest-comes-full-circle-with-its-mission/

What do all of these things have in common?  The police details which contribute significantly to making these events safe and successful will not be handled by the Office of Police Secondary Employment (OPSE).

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#FOP in the News – Concerns about consent decree, crime prevention districts – FOX 8 WVUE #fopno #nopd

Concerns about consent decree, crime prevention districts – FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports.

Police Officer – Father

The following was recently received from an NOPD officer in response to our recent Letter to the Editor regarding the planned changes to the NOPD detail system.

I would like to invite and encourage anyone who would like to share their thoughts on police details to submit something to be published. It can be about these so-called “reforms” or it can be your personal experience working paid details with how the detail impacted the community we serve. It could also be about how working paid details has impacted your family.

I would also like to strongly encourage anyone who works details to ask their detail employer to contribute their personal experiences with paid details and how it effected their business or event.

I will be happy to give the author credit for the article or post it anonymously at the author’s direction. Furthermore, I will refrain from editing (except maybe spacing for readability). You are welcome to submit something even if you do not work for NOPD. Email me or call me about submitting something — Donovan Livaccari dlivaccari@gmail.com; dal@livlaw.com; 504-905-8280; or click Contact Me.

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I have been an Officer for 10 years, and I love my job! I also love the fact that I have an option of making extra money to provide my family with the things they deserve. The best schools, safest neighborhoods to live, etc. Those things come with a price, a price every real man, husband, and father, is willing to pay if it’s in the best interest of his family. Let’s forget I am a Police Officer, and say I work in the private industry. If I was to work an extra job or overtime to provide for my family then one would be looked at as a strong dedicated person or role model, but I am a police Officer who “should be focused only on being a police officer”, and not making extra money. Why is it because I’m an officer it’s corrupt? The details have been badly labeled by federal government employees who make six figure salaries. I have never made a six figure salary even when I’ve worked the total 24 hours of details allowed within a week.

The public has been persuaded by the media regarding this issue, and I don’t think they understand the NEED for an officer to have just a decent living by working extra hours. The comments I have come across on nola.com and other news sites are repulsive. Like it is with police work it’s now the same for details. With police work lots of people always tell me “thank you for what you do” and “I could never do your job”, but its the only profession where people have the need to tell you how you should do your job. You don’t tell a fireman how to put out a fire, a doctor how to treat a patient, or a barber how to cut hair.

In closing I work a detail 5 days a week for 3 hours a day and I still get home in time only to see my wife dressing them in their pajamas, and putting them in bed. I’m gone before they get up the next morning. I miss them so much everyday but they would not have the things they have without my steady detail. I’m just glad they love me as much as I love them and I hope I can still provide for them in the near future, because with this new detail plan there is just no certainty.

— Anonymous Officer

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NOPD Spouse’s View on Details

The following was recently received from an NOPD officer’s spouse in response to our recent Letter to the Editor regarding the planned changes to the NOPD detail system.

I would like to invite and encourage anyone who would like to share their thoughts on police details to submit something to be published. It can be about these so-called “reforms” or it can be your personal experience working paid details with how the detail impacted the community we serve. It could also be about how working paid details has impacted your family.

I would also like to strongly encourage anyone who works details to ask their detail employer to contribute their personal experiences with paid details and how it effected their business or event.

I will be happy to give the author credit for the article or post it anonymously at the author’s direction. Furthermore, I will refrain from editing (except maybe spacing for readability). You are welcome to submit something even if you do not work for NOPD. Email me or call me about submitting something — Donovan Livaccari dlivaccari@gmail.com; dal@livlaw.com; 504-905-8280; or click Contact Me.

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I first want to start out saying that I married my husband knowing he was a police officer and what it means. I know that we won’t have a million dollar home or ever become wealthy because of his calling. I firmly believe that it isn’t just a job but a career and a calling. Okay with that being said these are my thoughts on the revamp.

My problems and or concerns about the paid detail revamp goes as such:  The first issue I have is that they are creating a new department (Department of Secondary work) to handle the details. How can you create a new department when you always threaten the police officers with an extra off day because the city doesn’t have enough money. The second is having to pay the city $5.00 an hour. For what the use of their guns and radios, oh wait that’s right they are creating a new department to handle the details

so that means they will use that money to pay those people. If the department would charge $2.00 an hour like Plaquemines does(which has been confirmed by a friend who works for Plaquemines) it wouldn’t be so bad BUT with Plaquemines everyone has a take home unit AND they are given their uniforms, gun belts, vest, etc…The break down for them is $1.00 an hour for use of the unit and $1.00 an hour for the other stuff. Yes, NOPD does give an uniform allowance, but that only covers about half if not less. My husband does not have a take home so he uses our vehicle and our gas. The third issue is the companies having to send the payment to the city and then the city will issue the checks, I don’t know about all of that. I mean really has anyone ever called personnel to get an explanation of their pay check. It is really scary because they can not explain it because they have no clue. So you mean to tell me that the police are suppose to be comfortable with this aspect. The fourth is the detail pay usually supplements their pay checks because of working in such a dangerous city you really need to have umpteen disability policies and life insurance or when the city decides to give an extra day of without pay in a pay period for any extended amount of time.

For my family the paid details help pay for my husband’s gas back and forth to work, lunches/dinners, our house note, our children’s school uniforms and supplies (they go to public school), and other bills if needed. It also goes for the last minute uniform requirements such as, but not limited to the traffic highlighter looking vest that we didn’t know about needing until about three days before the special event oh and don’t forget the whistle too.

Thank you for giving me a chance to share my grievances. I have many thoughts on other issues with the city and the department such as the domicile rule. I will be happy to share if you will be willing to listen.

— Anonymous Wife

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Plain Facts

The following was recently received from an NOPD officer in response to our recent Letter to the Editor regarding the planned changes to the NOPD detail system.

I would like to invite and encourage anyone who would like to share their thoughts on police details to submit something to be published. It can be about these so-called “reforms” or it can be your personal experience working paid details with how the detail impacted the community we serve. It could also be about how working paid details has impacted your family.

I would also like to strongly encourage anyone who works details to ask their detail employer to contribute their personal experiences with paid details and how it effected their business or event.

I will be happy to give the author credit for the article or post it anonymously at the author’s direction. Furthermore, I will refrain from editing (except maybe spacing for readability like I did below). You are welcome to submit something even if you do not work for NOPD. Email me or call me about submitting something — Donovan Livaccari dlivaccari@gmail.com; dal@livlaw.com; 504-905-8280; or click Contact Me.

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The public’s perception tends to shape political viewpoints and some policies within the police department. Details are no exception. The D.O.J. didn’t help the perception by labeling details the “aorta of corruption.”  I’ve read comments from nola.com from citizens who have wrote that officers should be concerned with doing their jobs within the N.O.P.D. or officers were being “greedy”. The average citizen may not know that there are policies in effect already regarding details such as how many hours an officer can work details per week and an officer cannot be “on duty” with the city and work a detail. Details are basically part-time jobs and they are taxed like any other job. As for being greedy, the majority of officers who work details on a regular basis do so to supplement their income because they have to, not because they want to.

Citizens may be under the assumption that having an Office of Secondary Employment will “shape up” the detail system, but there isn’t a problem to begin with. This newly formed office will take officers who have worked neighborhood details providing security for years, out  of those neighborhoods and different officers will be in their place. An officer who was working the same detail for years knows the neighborhood such as who lives there, what vehicles belong where, and they would know what is out of place. Whereas an officer new to the detail would have to learn this and meet the neighbors. This doesn’t make sense for community oriented policing, which I thought was a strategy the department was in favor of.

The new office was self described as being competitive to other security patrols and agencies. At $34.00 an hour, of which the officer receives $29.00, this is not competitive. Neighborhoods and businesses are not going to pay $34.00 an hour when they can get a cheaper rate elsewhere. This office will hurt the officer in the pocketbook and will reduce morale.

Officers aren’t the only ones affected, neighborhoods and businesses should know the $5.00 extra per hour is said to be used for administration fees and payroll within the office, but at $5.00 per hour per officer this office will more than pay for salaries and administrative costs. A question should be what is this “tax” going towards?

— Anonymous NOPD Officer

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View from Another Agency

The following was recently received as a comment from an officer not employed by the NOPD in response to our recent Letter to the Editor regarding the planned changes to the NOPD detail system.

I would like to invite and encourage anyone who would like to share their thoughts on police details to submit something to be published. It can be about these so-called “reforms” or it can be your personal experience working paid details with how the detail impacted the community we serve. It could also be about how working paid details has impacted your family.

I would also like to strongly encourage anyone who works details to ask their detail employer to contribute their personal experiences with paid details and how it effected their business or event.

I will be happy to give the author credit for the article or post it anonymously at the author’s direction. Furthermore, I will refrain from editing (except maybe spacing for readability like I did below). You are welcome to submit something even if you do not work for NOPD. Email me or call me about submitting something — Donovan Livaccari dlivaccari@gmail.com; dal@livlaw.com; 504-905-8280; or click Contact Me.

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I have worked for a few departments early in my career but I have been with my current agency for 12 years now.  Most of that was done as a road officer then a patrol supervisor.  Details for me, and most of the officers I know, are not a luxury.  They are a necessity to survive and make ends meet.  I know the old saying, “Don’t rely on a detail to pay bills because it may not always be there.”  But I, and most guys, have no choice.

From what I have read NOPD makes a lot more per hour on details than most details in JP and my agency.  I read that the feds claim that the reforms reflect “best practices” of other agencies.  They obviously did not get that from any agency in this area.  JPSO and my agency both have a detail office within the department.  All details must go through that office for approval.  The detail rate is a set standard rate based on the type of detail i.e. regular detail rate is $25/ hr but highway/ road construction detail is $40/ hr. If a police unit is used for the detail, meaning the officer is in the unit and the unit is running, then the department charges $1/ hr for fuel.  The price of details is not negotiable by an officer.  Each detail is given to a ranking officer to schedule personnel to work that detail, who is paid $2/ hr for every hour worked as an admin fee for keeping the detail scheduled and staffed.  This is because my agency’s detail office is not a paid gig, it is just a duty of the administration.  It’s that simple and easy.  I fail to see why they are making this so complicated and charging businesses a fairly large “tax” to have a detail.  I think this may greatly reduce the availability of details for NOPD officers.

Anonymous

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