NOLA mayor fights to end the “federal consent decree” that “handcuffs” officers, caused mass resignations

Share:

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The Democratic Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, is calling for the end of the decade old federal consent decree with her police department.

Mayor Cantrell says that it is not only creating a hardship for officers to do their jobs but also driving them away from the city.

The New Orleans Police Department agreed to a federal consent decree in 2012 which was designed to combat alleged acts of corruption within the ranks of the agency.

The consent decree was signed and went into effect in July of that year after it was signed by former mayor Mitch Landrieu and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

The consent decree mandated new policies and procedures, as well as federal oversight into anything the law enforcement agency did, something that no one is arguing, was needed ten years ago.

However, since that time, the mayor and others argue that the agency has been able to come into compliance with current laws so it is no longer necessary and is currently only causing a burden.

At a recent news conference, Mayor Cantrell said:

“The consent decree handcuffs our officers by making their jobs harder, pestering them with punitive punishment and burying them with paperwork that is an overburden.”

Mayor Cantrell blames the consent decree for the agency falling below 1,000 officers which is the lowest number they have had in several years. She added:

“It’s [the consent decree] gotten us in a situation…that I’m concerned about our officer’s ability to protect themselves. And if our officers cannot protect themselves, then there’s no way that we can even expect them to protect us.”

Mayor Cantrell said she has been told by officers that they fear using any type of force to protect themselves or someone else and that they will be disciplined or at least vilified through the media even if they were right in their actions.

She noted that some of them have told her that they feel there is little support from the community, members of the media, and elected officials.

The mayor’s request to have the consent decree ended will go in front of a federal judge who will determine if the New Orleans Police Department complies with federal mandates and determine if the decree could be lifted.

The U.S. District Judge who has overseen the decree since it was created in 2012, Susie Morgan, will hear the case and decide to move the agency forward with a draw-down period of two years or deny the request.

While the move to end the decree is in the right direction according to some, it does not go far enough to address the officers leaving the agency according to others.

One of those people that feel that Mayor Cantrell is not doing enough is Eric Hessler who is an attorney for the Police Association of New Orleans.

While Hessler may believe the consent decree may play a part in officers leaving, he also believes that the agency’s Public Integrity Bureau, the command staff, as well as the mayor herself are also to blame. In terms of the PIB, Hessler had this to say:

“Investigations [by the PIB] is unfair, they’re biased, and they’re corrupted by a PIB administration who is left untouched.”

The President of the Police Assocation of New Orleans, Mike Glasser, agreed with Hessler in terms of the PIB and their investigations. He said:

“The biggest thing, once again, their own survey showed them, the exit interviews showed them all the time, we’ve been telling them for a long time, is the Public Integrity Bureau and the disciplinary process.

They’re looking for some fairness and equity in the disciplinary system, first and foremost. Until we get an overhaul of PIB, and I’m not talking focus groups and meeting and talk. Until there is an overhaul of PIB, you will not stop the attrition at this police department.”

Hessler added:

“All I’ve ever heard is criticism of the administration and the mayor. If anybody feels anything towards the police officers, it’s sympathy for having to work in these conditions.”

https://fundourpolice.com/

As crime and murders skyrocket, Chicago to move officers from patrolling neighborhoods to protecting movie sets

CHICAGO, IL – According to a report from Fox News, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) will be diverting some police officers from neighborhoods and instead using them to protect TV and movie sets.

 

The orders came a few days after officers responded to an incident at a film set, when a suspect “lit and threw an unidentified object” near a set on the 1000 block of South Desplianes Street near the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The production was shooting a scene when at about 10:20 p.m., someone lit and threw the incendiary device towards the set. Police stated that the device did not explode and no cast or crew members were injured, thankfully.

A person who works at a nearby gas station said that they were filming “Justified,” a show on FX. A CPD spokesperson told Fox News Digital in a statement:

“The Chicago Police Department works closely with the city’s film and television community to provide safety and security for the production crews, as well as the communities in which they film.”

According to emails obtained by CWB Chicago, the City’s downtown area, known commonly as the Loop, and its surrounding neighborhoods are among the areas impacted by the new diversion efforts, and CPD officials were already preparing for staffing shortages on the evening before the order went out.

 

CPD First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter ordered the changes on Thursday, August 11th, in the wake of the incident on the film set of “Justified,” which happened on Monday night, August 8th.

A second source said that CPD resources are being diverted largely because the production companies have been unable to find enough off-duty cops to handle the work.

The source said that the city requires “police supervision” for some filming activities and that it usually comes through a city program that lets studios hire uniformed cops on their days off, but fewer cops are volunteering, which is putting productions in a bind.

The orders also come weeks after crews on the set of “Justified” halted production after the occupants of two vehicles exchanged gunfire near the set. A CPD spokesperson told Deadline in a statement at the time:

“The Chicago Police Department is committed to ensuring members of the city’s vibrant film and television community are able to do their jobs safely.

We work in close coordination with the Chicago Film Office, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications to ensure production crews have the resources necessary to feel safe and secure while filming in the city’s neighborhoods.”

CPD is currently facing drastic staffing shortages while violent crime in lakefront neighborhoods increases.

In July, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown announced a 44 percent decrease in homicides and a 26 percent decrease in shootings across the city year-over-year.

Homicides are also down in Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods on the west and south sides of the city, but its northern, lakefront neighborhoods are seeing an increase in violent crimes.

Carter directed Central (1st) District commander to divert two cops from downtown patrol work to sit in a marked squad care on a set from 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 12th to 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 13th.

 

He ordered the commander to send another cop with another marked vehicle to sit at another filming location from 8:00 p.m. on Friday, August 12th to 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 13th.

Cops were also told to be given up for movie sets in the Near West (12th) District. Carter told that district commander to send two cops in a marked car to sit at a different movie set from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, August 12th.

Near West patrol officers handle calls in neighborhoods like the West Loop, Pilsen, Little Italy, and United Center.

CWB Chicago obtained a copy of the schedule for the Central District for Friday, August 12th. It showed only four sergeants and six beat cops scheduled to be on patrol.

There were 12 more cops scheduled to be on the street, but they were all reassigned to fixed posts and would not be available to handle calls unless changes were made.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First
Share:
Submit a Correction
Related Posts