WWL>Topics>>2-26-14 2:10pm Angela: on raises for NOPD

2-26-14 2:10pm Angela: on raises for NOPD

Feb 26, 2014|

Angela talks with PANO attorney Eric Hessler and Fraternal Order of Police attorney Raymond Burkhart about whether New Orleans police should get a raise.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

-- how would you feel if you hadn't had a raise in seven years. Ask any new Orleans police officer and they'll tell you how it feels. No raise in seven years and now a dramatic decrease in their ability to get detail work. As we fight to hire more officers and keep the ones we have. Shouldn't a pay raise be considered. The police association of New Orleans is asking the civil service commission to look into the need for race. Joining us is Eric Kessler -- the attorney for piano and Raymond -- -- the attorney for the fraternal order of police. And I have to mention that we invited chief surpassed sense we really got no response and I'm disappointed because I would be very appropriate if you were here. But we need to discuss this we are hearing constantly. That we're losing police officers by the minute and and if were I know that they've got to the -- tremendous ad campaign going on trying to hire. But there's going to be a lag time we need police and we need to keep the police who were here happy. So I've just pontificate -- but I feel better for having sent to. Let's start with Eric Eric you want you filed that so with the civil service. You've found the civil service and not just brought up why didn't she just say you know what we need to sit down. The chief and the mayor while that civil service commission has the authority and the responsibility to consider. Salaries for for city import so we were just trying to go through the the proper channels. I think it's it's more effective if there is a city agency that is doing an investigation. And and and provides evidence of the need for salary request other than. And -- just go on there and asked in Fort Hood and I think they need. It can be quickly shown with a even short investigation. Okay let's talk about and and done Ramon Burkhardt as well. How bad has it gotten. Already part yeah I mean this this year alone. We've lost when he. When he police officers I went out and don't want. And and some of the officers have left -- -- is a lieutenant that left the job to take a job as a road deputy. In a neighboring parish -- at the -- that it alone speaks volumes and it sends a bad message to the guys that stay in the years. -- what is the future. Just Jefferson Parish pay much more. If the the pay is probably. Somewhat. Relatively close but they they still have the details and the working conditions the environment. Resources they have -- certain. Better. Yeah -- more polish. There are treated. The officers on the respected. By. The parish administration. Persons. -- department -- they also are constantly giving being given and so are a disincentive to stay on the job. Or not to look for other jobs. Or to even find out to recover from parliament account because the -- you've seen is fury it's. Reason not to serve the city -- well. And at the end police also cannot forget it should be should pay the same old. Think mortgages -- school tuition. Same type of bills and lifestyle that average middle class person to just point. The officers are you know you watch a law. And all of -- take more money. I think that there we are learning much more on talking about just regular people were not within the police department about the consent decree that came down that said. We have to redo the whole details situation and we're gonna create this office of secondary employment. And that's where the rubber met the road because correct me if I'm saying anything wrong. But what happened was it it kind of cut everybody in -- As far as the amount of detail work which officers were dependent upon. To fulfill their salary and their their lifestyle needs. No doubt and and this city has historically used. And allowed officers to freely use the ability to work details to supplement. And an otherwise extremely low salary. And they they. They got away with it and now that they have created this office -- they have. They're gonna have to pay for and I mean literally paid for by. Increasing the salaries of officers and and out. Because -- this office is lost. Detail work incentives created and make it better for the police officers it's actually lead financially devastating for them and it's it's not gonna work. Among the we've actually done programs on this and I I know that that the sentiment clearly was. People would have long time of relationships with their who were they were working for details. Now have to give those out and it's sort of divvied out and it's costing more so now these same same people who were using and a PD may be using the sheriff's department. -- -- -- -- Because when you think about it. Look at. Call eight allegedly. For redoing -- -- veto them what to try out crap to make sure the officer more people didn't politics. Okay internal politics of -- -- -- -- you -- now. The senate and in the officers are now. To politics. One of the witnesses in the case testified that he did not get attention and capital City Council to order to. -- -- -- -- My understanding from. Various organizations who have got a couple all amounts. Without. Revealing confidential information that is banking industry on the stretcher. And at the end of the day which you don't whenever you get an exemption -- -- technically part. Oh what -- -- as a citizen. Could very much depend on what our. City Hall -- And camp and cheap. You really can't. It's what city hall and they appointees. What is CIO. And the director of all to please regular employment like you and very well could wind -- -- And that's scary because this is not just the administration. It's more restrictions. We are we still have the consent decree it is going to go way. How to live with and it. What what to do what we tried the case the first week trip. About the multiple secondary employment. Remember if it's not working you could always model. Accused -- trying to prove trying to convince the court system that these to be changed. They had no problem modifying the consent decree read first and foremost on that. In about so that they could change in advance payments. That businesses have to -- to get to -- paid each officer. Shall adopt a larger and well what the court -- to -- the -- here. Number one. There's been no public. On that. Aggrandizing report from the the other way. Now not. All. -- one who was. It was coral in which people back to. The person -- action this -- trot. A federal judge ordered an opinion acute -- -- that court. That are. Shortly after. That he offices in law. And -- public. Everybody. And nobody -- well specifically we ought to. -- somebody who did one. More salt to report now. -- -- speaking of the consent decree -- hand on it didn't just require. Detail reform required of the things and it required that the city. In -- named in this in this apparently after that dictated. That the center treat mandate set and a PD the city in the civil service develop. A comprehensive recruitment program that can attract -- higher highly qualified persons. -- sharp -- admitted then in 2011 that the way you do that he's you. You have to have. A strong compensation package we don't. We do not. Notwithstanding. Details going away -- details being. Being -- lessons these officers. Should. Give a significant race you know because they're able to pay you know. I support their families by working a second job as a police officer in this city. You should be -- to support your family. On your your primary to. And I think you've just at the nail on the head we're gonna take a break I hope all of our listeners out there are. Our our thinking about the civil give us a call if you have any thoughts at all because it's a problem and it isn't it's going to affect all of 2601870. Obama come back we're gonna talk about what is the pay for police right now to stay with this I'm Angela under the that you were talking about. Police need a race it's been seven years. They're losing a lot of their detail work. Can we keep. Eric Kessler's skier who was that -- Japan now and -- in Burkhardt the attorney for the paternal order of police. And Hanna has filed a suit with the civil service commission not suit but asking them to do an investigation. On the salary issue but -- for all of our listeners talk about. What does a guy or woman make winning the not a recruit but become an officer. As -- I believe they make about her. First okay let's talk about ones to make it to sergeant. That would that would be depend somewhat on that time of service. But the rank I think. The rank of sergeant would probably typically start just under four under forty and then lieutenants and captains I think there's a but fortify for fruit. And captains are making just under. Just. And that's. OK and their how many captains believe it's sixteen -- OK but if from. Is there a time and a half. -- -- Lieutenants and below make boat -- there -- Exempt employees parents captains and okay. How much of of the police officers income prior to the consent decree was made up of detail work. Well I think that would be just based on the offices. The office when -- was sort of wanted to let us and we you know not a member of the family wife worked there are certain things couldn't name again. OK but I guess I'm trying to say is. If there's a sense that there's been a great loss in income. For individual officers because they don't have the detail work and intent are absolutely and now that is exposed to low salaries. And we have had people -- specifically because of that -- we cannot maintain. Financially. Their obligations because the details have been restricted. Okay. That the concern is you're losing you're losing people. And it must be difficult trying to encourage people to join the force if the salaries are -- right -- and it's as as a Raymond pointed out. In Los Ariza is a problem but is morale problem -- resources. Via the job conditions that they face. Those -- problematic across town. I think in the last eight months city's only hired eighteen people. As recruits to start the next academy that's that's not even the mountains lost -- 56 dates. Now that's quite a statement and I know that that we've done things with with the chief on. That they have allowed 450 new officers to come into three different recruiting classes. Pitchers -- since they started at they've only gotten eighteen that's correct that really says the difficulty. In in trying to recruit. Sure we have to keep them financial. You know obviously. We have -- -- You know all week while we while our officers remain dedicated to take a beating a lot of times. From the public in the immediate effective it's very difficult because. -- -- -- -- Even just to get an academy. And the training to be incredibly -- So at the end of the day. You know we lowered the department's standards. In regulation reform. And so you're gonna have trouble people not to mention again and now -- -- -- exceptional today with all -- Wharton and. And the -- -- -- You know it would take a regional approach like most raiders didn't do. And it -- find ways. To beat -- all the source not just financial. But emotionally mentally spiritually. Then you would certainly you can. Certainly will but that's right they just. You know going back to our original thing have. The need for more money the need for a pay raise let me ask you all because the budget is then. I mean. Where -- the money come for a well that's that's via. Responsibility of the city council of the mayor and the politicians. That that are sworn to two. Protect this and and to do that you have to have a strong. Capable competent police force to do that you need to pay have been known this for years. For years and years and years. We've always known everybody in the city is known that the police department. Was underpaid. And for years and years and years the city said what we can't afford it while I don't know what it cost more. Find the money for the pay raise or. Though but the loss of security the loss of public safety and loss of lives and city until they until they do and that's their job to -- about it. You know I don't want that. Interest -- it is what the city. Wolf -- for instance. The consent decree requires. In a large and astronaut training. -- officer. On an annual basis. -- even started yet. At the consent decree was on January 20 art and regenerate. Archie. And they have the real point of the training. Was. Two short of the officers. Knew what -- now as far as legal updates. And tactics to force. On before the -- -- the United States. And the fact is. Fiction epic real test ten pages a harder line that have to do hate each. And the focus of the city has not been and what the spirit and intent of having a consent decree -- And it's not be all officials fighting the consent decree personal officers are caught an option for our I think Eric would agree that they want. They -- happy that they want information. To the right back. But instead. Again instead of giving them to hold at getting in college we -- spending money on on why. The director of all the police secretary employer makes it harder fifteen palpable here. Police officer -- -- police -- 36 palpable here in the city. How many officers -- we hotter. If we start getting rid of these six figure directors. Then and deputy mayors and and all of coming off script we hire so -- it worked out from the anchor. We're just not. Prioritize. What active and 715 salt are treated like wars no money for personal well. I just said too much Eric. I would be so stunned if that chief of police didn't want better salaries. -- don't pay yes. And -- About power he -- better equipment. You don't make the -- But he has to fight for the budget. Just like they all it. Well at the end of the she told the council -- You Serb. And I'm not considered -- -- moments against each other computer. But at the same time. To be fair the Mann -- and studies fifteen and at all. And we have been saying that three year. We ideologue. Or eleven as a suitable approach that we did not happen empower. We were bleeding such as -- locked in right. For whatever reason to be just our action but -- resignations and people on and remembered it would not hold accountant also. And the other thing you have to you're really focused on -- transfer. IE people from the department -- -- police experience. I don't need to know. Departmental policy -- in order to state -- is the same people are. Federal assignments -- -- So. We -- a lot higher. You're asking someone to console one agency. General PDA. Would not focusing on and we certainly don't haven't done. People want to switch because. There -- -- what will happen out there have been fifteen years that -- parish. All -- just hope it's not worth it does no incentive. Or reason. To do it. Unfortunately. It's not you can't just take -- to help you pick professional police were -- You'll also have to you know it's it's not it's not people -- literally. And they sometimes -- ultimate sacrifice strong. But at the end of the day. -- spot to take care of their settlement and insult or no good and try -- -- why should date column in the world. And so. Well we're gonna take a break when the newsroom but I want all of our listeners -- -- -- tunnels which are thinking about. This on this it really impacts our community to 601870. Now let's go to the newsroom and Christmas. Police officers haven't had a raise in seven years in New Orleans do you think they should get a raise. Do you think having have a better compensation package. Would encourage those who are there and they're trying to recruit 150. Only get eighteen so far. Would a better compensation package really -- more in love to know your thoughts to 601 and seventy. Ot Eric Kessler with panel and remember part with the fraternal order of police believe strongly that these officers to need more money and I think in the heart of hearts. I would be surprised if we got -- listener who called and said no I don't deserve a raise it it goes back to where we gonna get the money and I hear what you're saying -- about. We're not prioritize. Not prioritizing money the city man. Let's talk about week. Four that the starting salary of a lot of an officer's 36570. And then as time goes on. You you build up and you get state supplemental -- Humid very interesting statement in the commercial about it officer you know who now makes less. Than it did seven years ago because. Health insurance is more center. It takes home less. Now. Than he did seven years ago could increases and and health insurance and in deductions. So he literally takes his paycheck is less than it was seven years has taken to OK let me ask you. Okay police recruit I'm sorry entrance salary police recruit is 34007. Or 97 dollars. I had so much interest in about that number. Of the polish recruit. A guy you have to have a degree. He's your qualification right it's not just the normal civil servers I mean you've got to. Well it says at least twenty years old high school graduate. Or GE. So -- of college monitors & Associates are correct right so if you think about that the -- -- coordinator -- work phobia thing. Do you know what picnic. 37999. Dollars stock. They'd make more in the officers' -- actually taking your cut. And there -- -- detection and also deduction has been right. Okay well look let's. Talk about the pension I'm glad you brought it up what is that -- I've always heard that after what twenty years you can retire seventeen years you can retire is eventful salary. After -- best. Record best in. Him. And and and and your retirement. It goes -- based on years of service. Typically the time that twenty years. You can leave it. The courts. 80%. Treatment no matter. Right you have to reach certain age I think you saw. Because again most officers do calm on the job or. Shall we -- thirty years. -- still you still lie but at the same time you know it can Asia. Certainly again. But you know they've given thirty years but they usually -- -- college. And after that point it would at least so. So. You know the standard can't -- now. In many ways. But at the same time. We still disenfranchising options out. Because regards to promotions we won't start doing promotions. And handle on that. But the consent decree deals that people often for. Our weren't. Is. Requires. Frequent testing. -- promotion. Because that's an incentive to people who want to wire. To stay abreast of the ball get the proper training to the best also they can. So you give people reason right now so maybe I didn't do so well on the last promotional just an outcome -- like a quarter and I'll do that stock. But it's all with a huge port. That we've been involved and to make happen. And. That officer and finally can promote. Which stalled in franchise that -- -- -- our -- higher ranking officers. -- on the job. -- watching -- -- so captain. All the sudden you know. And let me ask you you talking about the the recent elevation to the lieutenant and sergeant ranks. Is that correct but. With the shortage I'm speaking -- as just a citizen who is very concerned about. How few officers we have on the streets we don't have enough period. And we do neighborhood group after neighborhood group and then as the number one thing we want more visibility of cops that is the bottom line isn't mean just saying that. But. -- Well lost a trend -- so we're we're talking about we need more officers. On the street if you elevate to lieutenant and sergeant are they on the street are they now more administrative. There on the street they orchestra and -- ball and and the people who were petty officer sort out ranking officers. The fire on officers. -- -- -- I mean it is it is what it. And that's that's one of the problems. With the with the shortage. With the it would lieutenants and sergeants should be doing -- supervised. Brown that keeps the other officers and -- quality control. All too often the lieutenants. -- sergeants. Are forced into acting as a police officers forced to respond to calls citizen calls for service because otherwise there's nobody else left to do it. I mean I know stores for a fact rarely miss Sargent and in the in the patrol officer had to -- together but it only persons in -- district. I don't know about. What it and it's in it's it's dangerous. It's irresponsible to allow that to happen. Adam and when everybody in the room knows that the answer is part of the answer because certainly not the answer part of the answer is. Pay these men and women more. You'll you'll retain him you'll attract more. And and and to say that that's good we understand that and that is answered but we can't do that. To me. It is. It's just your response. We know what the problem is we know how to fix it. Somebody. In the government needs to get get on the ball and fix it center talking about it and saying how how. Badly we wish we could pay him but we just came. Stay with us everyone we're gonna continue this talk about police say right after this. Well we are talking about police pay with Eric Kessler who is the attorney for panel and -- Burkhardt has the attorney for the fraternal order of police. -- kind of top it off again what you've done is you have file something with the civil service commission. And in hopes that they will investigate. The need for an increase in -- Correct OK and the basis of that was because civil service is mandated with. Recommend and pay plan. And there directed that. From time to time they need to take in consideration changes in the economy changes in circumstances. Classes economic conditions everything or other factors. And and it's it's just the fact that they haven't had a raise in seven years the fact that the you know the economy is not the greatest at this at this point. But the the biggest deciding factor and an outside and do this was the city's. Hindering. Of the detail the office's ability to work details. And Aniston for historically the city allowed them to work details unfettered details of its monitoring and there was there was sun. Certain rules and regulations and follow of course but when they changed that. They brought to light how how. Load the salary is and how the average police officer has a hard time making ends meet on that salary without details. So. We're hoping that once an investigation is just completed. They'll they'll agree with us and I think. We have and which showed that that nothing less than a 30% pay raise across the board who will. What would be -- and certainly in case it's that bad but it's been it could have been. Avoided. Ignored and now it's. Have you given any numbers when you say 30% new -- at 30%. Given the breakdown of officers to rank etc. what that would mean. To the city how much they would have to come up with which is really saying to taxpayers also what you need to come out -- it. But I have not had not done that. And again. I'm not saying that the attacks -- should be raised to address the situation I think that -- and budgets that could be cut there's some programs -- price can be eliminated. And and if taxes need to be raised. And it was reasonable and necessary I think people would would pay for that as opposed to paying for. Through the danger took it to the health that are danger to their loved ones. -- I think at the end of the day. When we look at where our policy spending money within the department or -- in effect a department. He certainly. Can fire or if you block or -- patrol officers and one street. In a very quick -- -- again. Take a 150000 dollar salary. For the director of -- police secondary employment. And you can get off statistically. So you know more. You know. We have got to prioritize that -- not weaker peoples. We want office live in the city. Some people will social agency police -- what police course. -- You know -- police Cox -- an officer. -- -- in a normal person appear collect from you and I not know Olympic actual police. Setup. Again and there's no incentive. Does not -- conflict with sheriff's office. What -- now. And we have a caller Doug from Picayune your comment. I'd say well -- -- well it's it's been an increased salary birds and possible. And now there would that would numbers and it won't be characters who could be probably. But -- that there have become. Somewhat well okay. And it sport and make it 34000. Hours. Authorities successes 36 -- -- -- One can Catholic school and all that old thing all anything everything comes -- Not believe you know as a fireman in previous thought -- would these guys looked a bit chick music it is being in the -- -- life. And that's what the shouldn't want to do to. You know not been mentioned. You were firemen. I just have a sense I think I speak for other citizens that people who going to police were people going to fire. As firefighters have a real passion for the work. You're really it's not -- for the the big bucks but you should be doing it for a living wage and that's really Wichita and that's out of these guys. These men and women. Would certainly prefer to work went -- Primary job. And spend the rest of the time and who -- now days spending. Have to wait for him. Two worked you do -- in and he needs to be addressed need to be addressed -- Active player right now handled. Again. Police war -- the people -- law enforcement officer and chart is approach Russia. So when they leave a lot of times. We're going to other departments. I configured for all right now who were on the street seasoned veterans who want to tax. Because incentives. It's cheaper for them make better money -- from our police department. Obama to -- -- -- captain. Who because of the detail about -- supported his kids retired recently. And fact is now that are are secure. Torre major corporation. Local. And it isn't so these people stay within the profession officers didn't. Again. There's no reason for them right now to -- here you can have a pretty its web site on the planet. At the end of the day really recruits also touched. Our officers already on the job. -- -- best salespeople. -- to tell people -- and world com and a PD. Come help marketer from I'm not make it happen. And Angela you know and in 2011. Chiefs -- prisoners -- -- -- -- from Yemen magazine. That what with the city expected to to gain. By -- police officers more and and his answer was quite simply said it better quality candidate -- and to me. That's that's the start we've also retained are better. Please options that we have definitely been in droves but that to me is is well -- which everybody should strive for you get about a quality. Candidate you get a better quality police officer and you get a better quality of a public service to get better quality of the NO PD you get a better quality of life in the city. It's a wonder I will ripple effect right it's not very difficult to understand it's what is difficult is why they -- not do it. Marion in New Orleans. -- Angela yes are you good. You know that things -- double the least -- The thing that irritates me about quality things is that the City Council. -- -- And there who now in a position. To make it happen. Says nothing about the reality of needing new tax. We're already packed in ourselves. Because we're having to take proprietor police patrols. Since so many parts of the city already. Yes. And -- you're absolutely correct. In the last election now looking at the ballot and there was these propositions or against. Property. -- and villages for certain neighborhoods. -- -- Different parts of uptown on and on and on when I try and in different parts of the city. I see an -- PPI. -- other. Quote police cars driving around him on the mark and -- it. No I hear what you're saying and I hope others are hearing as well -- paying for one way -- the other. I really appreciate your call Mary and I. Hate to say we're running out of time but stay with -- we'll be right back I wanna thank Eric Kessler with panel and -- Burkhardt with the fraternal order of police. We need to we need to think about this we need to get the information. About on the need for a pay raise for our officers we know we're short we know we've got to recruit and we know we have to keep the good ones we've got. So let's all look at that pay -- as the civil service does. Commission does and we'll see what happens from there but thank you very much and we will re address this in the future it affects everyone stay with the suburb going to be talking to Jason Berry about. Issues and the Catholic Church practice.