WWL>Topics>>11-12-13 3:10pm Angela: on the NOPD

11-12-13 3:10pm Angela: on the NOPD

Nov 12, 2013|

Angela talks with Raymond Burkart, attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police, about a number of issues regarding the NOPD.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well it's been a changing year for the NO PD on so many levels consent decree the debate over the domicile ruling. The new tattoo policy the budget and new move to hire many more officers. And that doesn't include the judge's ruling giving a new trial to the dancing -- officers. And the recent IG's report. On an LPD's lack of reporting thefts. So to talk all about that and anything you would like to disgust when it comes to an LP game we have Raymond Burkhardt with us. I -- -- whole hour we are thrilled to death Raman is the attorney for the fraternal order of police and if anybody has any comments or any thoughts on police. Please give this call 260187. -- I appreciate you coming in for the issue been very helpful and other subjects we've had thank you for my phone. But not before we get into all these subjects you were a police officer. I work for five meters and the five years in the -- son in -- yes -- And so you've kind of seen it all around. You do get both perspectives from the street and the academic. Version of it and you know from what happens when someone's arrested -- what it looks like in the courtroom so from arrest prosecution to conviction or acquittal. On the net and there are there are quite a few steps and procedures. You know in order to be convicted and or to be equated so it's it's tough on those officers. The trying to make the cases trying to get the convictions is trying to do everything the right way. Unconstitutionally. As as a war. And if when we work hand in hand with the DA's office we usually can accomplish that not every time but a lot of -- African. Would you agree that the issue has been pretty astounding. It's been a crazy year has been a lot going on with the department. There have been a lot of changes some for the good some for the man. Home. Like I can't exactly say. It's been horrible but I can't exactly say it's been great either. We start let's let's start with so many things to talk. Let's start with the consent decree this -- What is the status. The status of the consent decree as it's being implemented. By the Department of Justice the city of New Orleans in the want police department. As you may were called there was some back and forth between the city and the Justice Department over -- the police -- going to be. And the police monitors the person who is basically the eyes and ears of the judge and the justices you Morgan. The federal district court on -- Sri. Not that they've got that done they're trying to implement what the actual terms of the consent decree are. What we have found so fascinating as a labor organization you know representing. 90%. Of those officers on the street all the way up top to bottom. Is there's been so much focus on the pay details. Has been so much focus on you you know civil service. But this consent decree was supposed to be about constitutional policing. And making sure our -- -- following the state and federal constitutions with regard to your rights of search and seizure and making good arrests. But no one seems to be pushing that part of the consent decree which is the heart of the consent decree. And that's what makes. Dealing with the consent decree so difficult. OK let's backtrack a little bit of the origin of the consent decree. Was because. The police department wasn't doing it right. On this allegation that was the a report which came out in March 2011 on the manner invited when he first in an office America by the DOJ economy and and look around until we can do differently that ultimately will lead to the march 2011 DOJ report. From the DOJ report you then have. You know -- Lawyers going against each other basically the city the city attorney's office being threatened by the US government will take over well -- on takeovers. Basically the negotiate at the end of the day our consent decree. The problem one of the biggest problems with the consent decree is that. You know as a lawyer he would never sign. Over your rights unless you know how much again -- And nobody knew how much anybody was getting paid it appeared until such time as the government -- here's the bill. And good luck with you make sure you do all of this vision of being contempt of court you don't wanna -- -- consent decree. -- incredibly unfair to the city and that's why Meryl Andrew acted out the way he did it. But at the same time. You have to kind of look at the law department and say you know pulled on and -- given back and if you can do sign a consent. You gotta give to take it take to give and that's not what happened in this situation. And then you had the share the sheriff's consent decree coming on the heels of it. Comments made everything incredibly difficult but -- the thing that we need to be focused on more than anything is getting offices -- training. And that's what I want that. That by itself -- costs it is very costly. And and it's so funny because you talk to the officers that I don't have a problem with the consent decree. As far as the Fourth Amendment as far as the extra training. They're not real happy every complaint has to be big giant formal investigation because it makes them look bad. But at the same time this kind of accepted that as a way of life that people are going to do that. What they're against is infringements upon their rights you know you talk about costly when that would be the office of police secondary employment that's cost in the officer. That's a whole subject where we will get to yes that's huge but just the basic. These police officers want to be highly thought of and they want. To be as good as they can be yes -- and the consent decree is in part saying this is how you're gonna get there exactly. So everybody has to accept that even though there are these very tough. Right individual situation yes and and the office is -- They accept you know everything that has to do with the heart of the consent decree the constitutional policing. They accepted. They want that they're they're very pleased they that they get training. You know that they're not kind of just thank him for themselves without proper police know best practices has that started training. Not really. And and that's kind of what's got everybody riled up a little bit is it seems like you know. For the to the officer simply this big money ground. On their -- deet tails. They've we've been telling us an organization City Hall that you have a manpower shortage since February. Of 2011. And all the sudden someone pretends to have some magical formula we're gonna have five classes of rookies allegedly that's gonna come through this year. That's not gonna happen too many people drop out too many people can apply we -- very stringent standards to become an -- police officer which is a good thing. And we have kind of contradictory standards for instance. You'll note that you can get credit for military service with regard to becoming the world's police officer in lieu of college credit. But you don't get police experience. -- credit to toward becoming -- wants police officer which would be what's called a lateral hire someone from Jefferson Parish coming into Orleans harsh. That's desperately will we need today. People can comment and just do the job start walking got that. And that will help stop the bleeding while war also trained the rookies. OK stay with this we're gonna pick it up right there about we need more police officers how we gonna get and stay -- this is Angela under the WA. Well this is an entire hour talking with Raymond Burkhardt who was the attorney for the fraternal order of police about sort of updating us on all that's been happening. With the you know PG. We talked about the consent decree but now we're gonna talk about the have a bad shortage we've. As you sent into a shortage for awhile and we we have the -- on without those others on talking about the the chance to try to get more people and they do have a special website which you bring up a very good point. If all goes to the civil service commission and somebody goes to knowledge not they go to the civil service they know what jobs it's way down on the list which is the first wrong thing. It should be at the very top of the list. And then what you're saying correct me if I'm wrong he is that if you are a lateral or one who has. Already worked for police department in the area which -- -- to get training in your already sort of saddened. That for you to come over here you get no extra credit. For that -- which -- saying. Well based upon the job announcement put up a civil service for police recruit. Because -- -- will start off as recruits to learn you know Orleans parish ordinances department policies. As you can see from looking at the it's on their website you can have sixty hours of college. But that's sixty hours of college can be substituted by two years full time in the military. You'll notice says nothing about prior police experience. There's nothing wrong with being in the military. But. What they're doing in Afghanistan. Is a lot different than how you patrol canal street. -- -- I assume what you're saying and that may well be an oversight and but still should be fix it's -- needs to be fixed because we're not telling people who we want who we need and that they're welcome to come here. Again having done shows on trying to get applicants in. They do have this new website but. They're still sort of resistance that they're not getting the numbers I think that they thought. What do you think they could do to get more applicants in the first thing they have to do is get rid of the domicile or notes. It it's not a matter of people not wanting to live here it's a matter of choice. Knowing that I had the opportunity to leave. If I want to leave stamp -- want to stay. I have two residences. If I wanna have that when you start taking away people's freedoms and choice the rebel. The second problem we have is. Deal they also police secondary employment remember the -- details system was always to supplement the incredibly low pay. The world's police officers have always suffer. So unless we're gonna get that 30% raise that's been. Discussed by councilman ranch morale. These officers need these -- details. OK let's stop right -- because I think that's. I've said that for a long time I know we are city with not much money in their fighting all kinds of budgetary thing I'm very realistic about it. But if the main crisis in this community is crime. And if one of the solutions to that -- in more police officers. And one who want to stay commit -- career. Wouldn't you go ahead and prioritize. Funds saying you know much. We can look at the big picture in seat that we not paid enough didn't work these guys are tired working another 203040. Hours details in. Let's raise the salary. Totally -- Texas. And we've and that is exactly what we have as you know as the premier labor organization. Of for the members for the officers themselves than you know the boots on the ground. We've been -- in this for two years to get your priorities to -- There's nothing wrong with all the full does nothing wrong with cease fire there's nothing wrong with midnight basketball. But the fact is you don't have officers out there. Patrolling. For the criminals and in fact their cars don't work anyway so they're not really prioritizing the police department like they need today. Well I'm gonna the sound very defensive because shortage of -- on and it was. And it was after sort of their budget was announced and he was very thrilled that you're gonna get a hundred new cars. And that their they're not gonna be caught and as other departments are mean so the positive is that. But it it is looking at a much bigger picture I think that's where we finally say. Look at our beautiful city look what's right. And look what needs to be corrected and everybody's concern is crime that so let -- say do we have to do anything and we can build an aquarium. Nice and have a little -- thing whatever it is why don't we say a priority of police. I don't know and that's that's -- city holes this year they they always say it's a priority. They have not cut the budget since Meryl Andrew has been in in and place. But they don't seem to spend the money where it needs to be spent I mean the consent decree says that the -- that the department may get -- Cameron's. Okay. That's -- may it's not mandatory. Lol -- cameras aren't going to stop people from shooting each count now. They may help other issues that they match -- in Atlanta is that about it but at the same time you know we really. We've got to prioritize where -- how are we really -- budget this money -- really are we gonna spend it. And look at how far down we had to go before anybody decided manpower truly was the issue it is today and we had been preaching this. For again for two years since February of two point eleven because we were anticipating the Super Bowl and Sugar Bowl on New Year's Eve. And we were trying to tell this to City Hall they would not listen to us. And so on people went on TV is so well we have all hands on deck but they'll almost had you had on deck when at the same hands you had a year ago yet a lot less chance. So right they have a lot less people thank god the men and women than wants police department who were here are complete professionals and pulled them off without a hitch. But we're losing them. And we're trying to get I think we are in the top three for suitable 52 at this point. And it really kind of frightens me to some extent that most of the officers who may be patrolling for that and protecting and -- for that. Are going to be officers -- less than five hours or so. OK look let's talk about details. Because. I think I'm hearing in Europe green that in a perfect world. It would need to many details yes that would be minimized right in ten hours a week something that but if you were paid enough and then could have that limitation. That doesn't exist right now right there should be. There should be made a look at that department and you look at it. To say what we can we do want to make it better from two very transparent means of their. Aren't these occasional feelings of is everything on the up and well first and foremost. What. What bothers me the most is I've never seen the documentation. Or the all heard the audio -- who's seen the videotapes. That showed who was saying -- to support this -- -- of corruption. That people got the view off with pay deet tails and in fact we found out the person who authored that that phrase. In fact lied and committed some you know some answers at least ethical violations. Have things gone wrong with PD -- before yes and people get punished. You know two guys Justin. And that and that wasn't a paid -- believe or not the it was actually overtime that was funded by -- it's not the but you know it's not to pay detail at a restaurant but it was ready and abuse there was -- -- -- -- and guess what they're getting punished and that's always been the way. The -- People just didn't acquire. Okay where we're gonna have taken the break -- when he joined the newsroom and stay with us as we continue our talk with Raymond. We're talking with Raymond Burkhardt who was the lawyer for the fraternal order of police about all the issues in a PD has been facing and we kind of piecemeal. With different shows various issues this is sort of an overview of where our. And we're talking about details because I know that is very very important issue to the officers. And frankly sadly because they're -- dependent on them when they if they made enough they would. Exactly such an issue and that the reality is it is and there's now an independent office. That is is set up so that they would go through that off right there details right. Right now that's the only way they can do it or is it being phased -- Being phased in the office of police secondary employment. Obama's run by -- -- down. Is starting to take over the details on the don't have all of them so until they get your detail on -- okay doing at the old one. -- once they do take over -- detail you do have to go to the office of police secondary employment. What what can make it better -- only one of the biggest complaints for hearing from the officers and it makes perfect sense. Is the rotation. And the officers have to rotate. We're hearing from the public that they have a real problem with the rotation. That's EP surprised how that builds community relations when they say the same officer at the same gross story every week. And they talked to that officer trust that officer and the officer is is represented some of the world's police department work and that the -- It's important. That these relationships are. Intact because that's where we get information on murders and shootings and robberies and -- And I think that the government the United States government and the City Hall did not understand that. Anything is subject to abuse and can this be fixed timing can. OK let's that if table as difficult as -- system time. And think what's compromise or have we forgotten that we have not forgotten that war. We are always willing to do that whether it be with the CA you know the -- and sell the superintendent with whom we meet monthly. The United States government we've had conversations with them. And we're not gonna stop trying to compromise and and work with everybody who is involved. The problem for the fraternal order of police has been is that all of these other entities have tried to shut out the officers. They've -- that's been the problem. And when you shut out the apple pretty shutting out the officers. And really nothing makes a person more angry than to just not had herself. And when they did I just infuriated the officers but we do believe we can come to some type of solution. To make this work for every one. And if we -- a judge is gonna figure it out for -- but we're we're we're always keep the door open as we do believe diplomacy. Is you know. Is the first week ago litigation is a nuclear option is is is an absolute last resort. We have litigation now it's not something anybody want it. But it had to happen and and the essence of that is the essence of that is we believe. That's. The consent decree with regards the also police secondary employment. Infringes on the public's and the officers specifically. Right to privy of contract. Both in the federal state constitutions. The government is not supposed to mass with the contracts and -- contract is against public policy. The problem is. They haven't shown how these contracts were against public policy. There is no evidence it's ever been shown to you or anyone else. To support that investigative report that came on March 2011 nothing. We -- for but can't the police department. Forget the government's -- farmers say you know it's a new day we wanna do it differently we're gonna setup this office. And you know they're the police department. Talk about the cheese store and they hit shore and that they were gonna do differently or -- -- be painful for a while but this is always good and that's ultimately what they're doing. That is ultimately what they're doing they're phasing it in as it's written in the consent decree. But as everybody is talking to each other people start to realize there are holes there are problems. I'm just just even in tightening the language if you well. And that's good because other start to involve -- and we are all trying to work together we're trying to make litigation ago. But at the same time we're not gonna stop fighting for our members and what the rights are either we're not just gonna bend over. As you know you know you -- the US government and we're just gonna take over no that's not how that works and you know we don't that's -- This may well be the world's fastest power Raman Burkhardt are very special guest with the fraternal order of police I'm gonna jump around us that we can just touch on some things. A recently there was the IG's report on an LPG. Lack of reporting facts yes and back -- that has happened before and I need to sensitive subject with the public that this isn't a manipulation of numbers. Right well. You know it's always kind of funny I always thought it was very interest thing that people forget. This is just my take on personal. The signal 21 lost or stolen. Leaves open the possibility that there was -- theft. But you don't have all the elements she need or all the pieces to put together to create an actual theft which is still leaving open the opportunity. Arm. A lot of people said that there's been downgrading to the extent that it's intentional. I'll be honest with you so much of that is training. So much of that is training that our officers are crying out for. Com we had a lot of successful officers who came out for training for the police auctions test them and and the practice auctions test. Without indicated to us was they want to learn they want to succeed. They want to excel. If this is a mandate -- from the consent decree. Then. Do you have any information that that they're gonna say once the budgetary prop thing is over we're gonna set up XY and -- train. Well you have heard it and you what I've heard that I thought we thought you would -- -- public apart when the police department put its budget in front the City Council. And they're not -- for training. Would while it would to my knowledge what we have right now with a 150 -- we're gonna try and get five recruit classes of thirty apiece a 150 officers. So Richard about training and somebody -- service exactly I'm talking about in service in the consent decree once people -- sixty hours events or restrain. What are the problems those sort of people to do that immediately after take off the street to do. It's hard enough when they do forty dollars and then they have to revamp the curriculum. And there is nothing wrong with that whole you know. I elect a cult of the practice of police and like the practice of law it's constantly -- thing with the culture. Column. And so we've had this evolution. And the officers in I don't need to know about what happened twenty years ago what they need to know is what's prevalent now which relevant now what's the thing to do now. They're just not given enough time to do it and their structures are strapped for time to work with each officer and make sure each officer has the knowledge that he or she needs. And this is vicious cycle that until we Fonda and as you said earlier prioritize. Correctly. We're gonna. We're gonna stay in this whole. But you know what it is curable. Well. You have sparkling eyes of you know. We're gonna make this work on the optimize but again if the consent decree is. The heavy hand of the government saying you'll juices and training as part of it means there should at least be some sort of at the beginning of the year here's what we're going to be doing exactly. Thank you you would have thought that would have been a big huge giant announcement. And it hasn't -- Not very quickly because we need to talk about -- to issue that is now in effect yes no longer discuss it is in effect yes -- and the bottom line is just can't share. It's worth the long -- right -- or cover up with an ace bandage or some type of Ben and Emeka like that yes ma'am and and where there are a lot of officers with a lot of it there. Are a heck of a lot of officers with tattoos and you know -- -- about ten to uses. It's cultural now in 2008 that the Pew Research Center has done a study that showed. That 36%. Of 183024. Year old has some type of body York. Well clearly that has increased and a lot of people. -- the past year who I never thought would have gotten a -- to have a tentative. The issue is not about professionalism. A lot of -- -- to usual seal on the streets say United States Marine Corps. A lot of them show their pride and it's a star crescent -- PD. I mean sure maybe that's flames coming out or knows trying to be -- -- that type of stuff but you also see that the community. And that bombs people. World like we have tattoos we both like tattoos. And the similarity. Helps build a relationship. It doesn't make an officer unprofessional to have a -- now if it's blatantly offensive by a reasonable objective standard. Porch just too much meaning it's all over your arms. There may be an issue there. But at the same time you give people the opportunity to plead their case. You know you can make it go into effect in November but you know -- the the -- the stole orbiting the sun. And we will have spring and summer and it will be hottest act. And we need to do something about that really fast and I know of two officers who left because of the -- -- -- -- -- -- All right stay with this Raymond Burke right after this. Welcome back this week kind of wrap up our top with rain and Burkhardt attempt thank you very very much. Your biggest concern right now. Domicile ordinance and OP SE. OK so we'll be watching that is sort of the -- right now the domicile issue yes okay. In the coming weeks something will happen months we believe the City Council ruled members shortly. Again why those of the biggest concerns recruitment and retention it's all about manpower. And training and competent professional policing. Thank you -- Burkhardt.