WWL>Topics>>6-18-14 3pm NOPD policy change for hiring

6-18-14 3pm NOPD policy change for hiring

Jun 18, 2014|

Angela talks with Raphael Goyaneche, President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Eric Hessler, attorney for PANO and Donovan Livaccari, Attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Test you would never get past the first step to becoming a new Orleans police officer until now. The police department is changing its policy. In an effort to recruit much needed candidates. The civil service also made some changes to the education requirements. But first let's talk about the change joining us to do just that is Rafael going the next day president of the metropolitan crime commission. Donovan live a car -- On an attorney with the fraternal order of police. And Eric Kessler attorney for pan out the pollution. I appreciate all three of you being here this is this is big news and for the average citizen. I think it that's questions need to be answered. What they're saying is after ten years if you -- hard drugs ten years ago even -- ten years. You you should be able to be a candidate for the police department. Is that is that lowering standards. It's changing standards to reflect what the national trend -- and this is not. In experiment that is unique to New Orleans. New Orleans is now implementing some of the policies that other law enforcement. Jurisdictions have long implement include including federal. Law enforcement impediments to it to -- So law enforcement has reexamined. Some of its long standing policies New Orleans is only just getting around. To that reexamination. And updating them to reflect what the applicant who is right there. I'd like to know from Donovan and Eric your thoughts. I think that that's an accurate depiction over it I think that it's. Clearly the a national trend says it says set those kind of standards and their consistent I think even in this region. I think that as long as these you know -- I don't think policeman of too thrilled about this in general. But I think that its longest hiring standards themselves aren't lord. That this really is just an opportunity for somebody to fill out an application as opposed to an opportunity for somebody to get a job. Okay Eric Berry and it seems that. While it doesn't lower. Its airlock. Apply and and -- explain. Whatever track record maybe. There not that that -- to be considered. Nowadays that they need to be art track Herbert air. They it's always been that if you work if you had done marijuana. Several years ago you were you be OK if you have been clean it's just extending at some more serious drugs. The cocaine instead etc. -- correct he wrote my question is how do you know. If -- suggests ten years ago I did or twelve years ago I -- about I've been -- since how do you. Proved that well the only way that they're going to do it -- on the honor system but one of the scientific. Forensics. Tools that law enforcement has as any employer has is. Submitting people lie detector polygraph test so NO PD applicants. Have to go through a whole barrage of terrorists including a stress test polygraph. Your analysis. And they're going to be an extensive background check is well not just criminal background. But an extensive background will you be reaching out we've known associates people that they went to high school we have in college and so forth and so on. To find out what their personal. My traits were when before they applied for those positions. And we we insisted upon. Some a commitment from the administration that they would. Not be a change in the stringent background investigations. And we also insisted upon language to be included on and job announcements and on the web sites and so forth which. Pretty much sets out that if you know if they find out that you -- during that application process that you would then be out. I think if you compare to the current system. I mean right now of somebody who would use drugs fifteen years ago all the really have to do is walk and -- and deny -- and you know they'd be in the same boat. -- ain't that. It'll be what. What -- Where where. Clark -- got -- -- consistent years or are -- column. Think like that certain it would be disqualified. The way it was proposed. The what that is what do you. Up forgive -- you're you're -- transgressions there are one user spare that are like -- -- I certainly would. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Her -- -- Our. -- because of that situation. So if they have any type of a background where they were arrested they would be out. Well convicted there. Convictions are still an automatic disqualify felony convictions and civil rights convictions certain misdemeanor convictions are automatic -- fires. What the only automatic disqualify errors that were eliminated. Where. The felony drug use in which there was no convictions someone admits that they used -- hard. Drug which would be a felony under the current laws in the Louisiana but the used it more than ten years before the applied to the police to. Okay it's that simple for us. I'm just curious why ten years is there some sort of study on. You know I'm assuming that there is some science behind that it wasn't just an arbitrary number. But if they have not used our hard drug in ten years then it's probably not. Going to be a problem going forward. But in the grand scheme of things. I don't know. If this exclusion. Of revision of of the its disqualify -- is really going to. Dramatically. Impact the pool of qualified officers. Because if some if the hiring H four police officer wrist when he. And they admitted that they use cocaine. At sixteen or seventeen. Means they have to be. 26 are 27. Years old before they apply to be a police officer as he had a ten year rule. And anyone that admits to using drugs. They're going to be particularly scrutinized so the fact that they had made it. Doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to be hired I think what it does mean is they'll be considered. -- but they'll probably have a higher bar. To clear to be eligible to be hard. So I don't think that the public should scratch their head in wring their hands. Saying that are gonna have drug users now where in -- You know I don't think that that that's a problem execute to the police department. It's it's a -- every segment assists. It totally -- in and I think we are sort of have a motive people deserve second chances and if you can get past this. And you are still qualified on every other level and there are many qualifications. To be an officer. Yes give it a shot stay with the Seve won. We're talking with rock feel going in HA. And that too. Of the attorneys for the police right after this -- Angel on W well. Our guest not rock feel going in at Shea with a mountain top metropolitan crime commission. But Eric Kessler with panel and Donovan little Kerry with the paternal order of police -- were talking about the changes in civil service rules. Because we are so short on police officers and trying to get more people into apply. Of the changes and as Raphael was saying this is not new in the world this has been going on across the country and we're just sort of catching up. But now there is the new rule that if you did drugs serious drugs. But in your past. Ten years ago you would still be eligible to be candidate not -- to be guaranteed you'd just be eligible. What are the other things that they're doing is the requirement for the sixty our college out sixty hours of college. Changing if you are in the military. And now if you. Being in the reserve -- count that's a good thing. Yeah we think that via the military the National Guard and people with prior law enforcement experience or are fertile ground for. Replacing the offices that have laughed and in our numbers up when we hire lateral. Offices offices from all the police departments. They don't have to go through the same training that a new hire would have to go through. So it allows the police department to put these guys onto the street fester. Okay we need. Over 400 police officers. I'm hearing from you all and it's going to be a long stretch to get there. What is the process to become an officer. Well you know basically you have to apply and up until last year. If you were interstate and being a police officer you have to fill out the paperwork by hand and physically bring it to the civil service office at. City Hall. Well when you have people that are applying from other parts of the country to come work in New Orleans. That is impractical so we're excluding a number of people that would be interest in for me even apply and last year we allowed for applications to be filed on line we saw a tremendous increase in applicants. So once you fill in the paperwork you will be scheduled for. Three phases of civil service testing phase one is a multiple choice test that you take if you pass that they knew immediately. Going into the written exam which is face to. And then you go into phase three witches and agility test and if you pass all three of them. You go to the you know PD foreign -- view. And you begin the process in the NO PD that includes a polygraph -- stress analysis. You get to some you go before an oral review board. Do you begin a background check and all of that and then if you pass all of that. Then you have a -- or psychological review. And then you have a full medical and a few clear all of those hurdles then you start the -- So what's happened is that if we're gonna hire 400 officers. We have to realize that our goal this year sire 150. -- lose in a 110 to a 120 through normal attrition so doing the math on that if we. Lose a 120 and we hire a 150 that's only thirty officers if we're over 400 officers down. It's gonna take years to rebuild those numbers in if we start to artificially. Remove some of the qualifications. Just to hit numbers. Then that is going to be I think something that new worlds will pay a dear price for because we did that back in the late eighties and we're talking and I went ice rank and yes they are -- we're not gonna go down that path now. You gotta keep standards that the public wants standards but the public wants bodies. They want to physically visually see police they want that closer reaction time. We are in sort of were in a -- is what were in. Everybody agrees we don't lower standards but I keep saying are there other creative things we could do that maintain the standards. But as you were saying -- Donovan let's say for those guys who left but now wanna come back you're saying there isn't a reinstatement program -- why isn't there. But that there is you can be reinstated its just that the process at this point is rather undefined and people who wanna come back or -- languishing in the process. Of trying to get back on. So you know. Of the process itself has be better defined so that we can allow these offices who have left -- to come back because we that we could use. There is there anything in the dark dirt -- groups and you know and bad ideas that are new ideas. We go back to. The ideas that's how it works if you like the police officers good quality people. Qualified people you get you get salary that stretcher with their duties and their their they'll. And we lots of good police. We're like we should be paying good policeman and we're we're seeing. A great -- because. It's just. And pay -- -- may also serve to stem the tide of attrition. Of of qualified officers leaving fraud for greener pastures. And that's what -- -- what we're allowed brought you register -- to complete the process. Statutes. What -- -- Not consider. -- -- -- -- Well I think you're hitting on what we've talked many times on this program about is the controversy concerning that the detail work the office of secondary employment. And how dissatisfied the officers armed with that and yet. In reality. Why are we paying them enough where they don't have to do the second job. I'd be happy if I never had to worry about the office of secondary employment ever again. So -- -- factor that obviously failed. Strategy and and it's taken it great for all. It's going to be error -- -- just completely -- Well I think there's a couple of issues. You know New Orleans has entire police officers and five years. But neither has so most other jurisdictions the reason that officers weren't hired. Is and because the administration is supposed to police are public safety it was for fiscal limitations. And those same fiscal limitations in New Orleans are the realities and other cities as well. But when you stop hiring and you continue to lose people through attrition. You have to replenish those supplies New Orleans is -- critical mass but so are some of the other jurisdictions. So there aren't hiring mode right now. So the old supply and demand principle is about to kick in so if you have multiple employers. Trying to hired the same applicant pool. The only way that you are gonna have those employees select you does offer a more attractive employment package which is going to mean more money. The question becomes where is the money gonna come from this because it's not like this mayor sitting on a pile of money now trying to figure out how to spend it. If you could give police more money you're gonna have to cut something someplace else and that becomes very very thing. And we're gonna pick it up right there please stay with this we're gonna take a break for the news but we'll be back. Talking about our need for police -- after this. -- we're talking about the need for more police 0% in in New Orleans. And we're talking about the changes that the civil service has agreed to. Concerning drug. Former two former former former drug use. And does an educational changes but the big issue is how we gonna get more people to want to be police officers. And we're talking with rock feel going in a -- Eric Kessler and Donovan little car. And that is the big issue. We are as low as what 36 year loan. That's huge 36 year -- And we're guaranteed next year. That next year will be 37 year ago because attrition will outpace our hiring. -- now that's a given that's again. And after that is scary. Consideration also. It's a very scary situation isn't that we're trying to. Riles people up it is the reality of where we are and so I think we come -- join hands and think what can only do. Two to expedite this. The process is laborious but correct -- -- you do have to do all these background checks and cycle on its -- -- everybody understands that. It's almost as if if they had what did they have 11100 people who went online and being nationally and from that they blamed the 32. That sounds right yeah it was what so what happened a lot of those people just didn't make the first cut. Or some maybe didn't pass the written test but some didn't pass the psychological to. So that's what is interesting is at 11100 people -- enthusiastic enough to at least go on line and start we got down to 32. Wow I'm told right now. The ratio. Applicants to people being approved for the academy is one out of ten so to get. Thirty people. Through the academy you need 300 applicants. That's that's the weaning process. Right. That we have to -- 15100. And fifty officers this year. That's 15100. Applicants -- Monica. And I think one of our our resource that we. Are sort of broke a record -- that we can't tap that. Because -- -- salaries. Is. -- car -- -- offices that are that surround our. If we were able to you match. Archie. Certainly see their currency. -- It through the resources that that. They have their work conditions in and make thought that it got that locked the door would matter much. And it would it would benefit of that at least and there are a professional or Ayers I don't think most pleased about she stopped. Well we have made it easier because we gave up with the residency requirement. So that was a plus. And it didn't do things need to want to be an eagle or a competitive. Salary package. Great -- conditions. -- resources the experience. The big -- for. We'll bring it back here and track them -- her career back. Well I don't think anybody would disagree that and more money needs to be on the table but it was interesting listening to Raphael and Donovan say. That they those who have left who would like to come back may have gone someplace else and the pastor wasn't any greener. Yeah I believe that's the case of an outspoken with a number of offices through a look and come back and the new balls please Foreman. Is is a good place to work. I think that we need to be able to convince the current group of offices. That. This is still a good place to work. And they're good at those offices are good at convincing people who want to become police offices that this is a good place to work. But I think in order to do that news at some point in ministries and is gonna have to stop. Taking from the offices. You know we've they've got. The -- this is starting pays -- like 34000 dollars. Over the past several years health insurance costs have gone up 40% on the employees sent. They have to pay more for take on callers. They're not in any uniform allowance anymore and am beginning this uniform. Allowance voucher. When they used to get a 500 dollar cash allowance for uniforms. There's a perception by our offices. That it's just one thing after another. It's being taken from. That details. The the civil service reform so aren't are another thing that you know we need to convince offices again that this is of great police department to work for their a lot of opportunities. For somebody wants to become a career law enforcement officers here -- no morals. It that's a true statement. -- who does that who who. Who rallies them. Well I think that there has to be paid an overall change in you you made reference to the morale problems in the police department think that there has to be an overall change in. Our attitude. And all that filters from the love it if all filters down from ball. And once offices feel like that you know that they're back in the game here. That you know that that. Radiates outward to people who wanna come here especially. More talk about lateral transfers. Stay with us everyone will be right back. Well we've been talking about the need for more police how we're going to get it. A some of the changes in civil service in which is an effort to try to get up a wider pool of people coming and but some think I just remembered we had done inspector general clocked her vote on and he did a report that said. There are nine he positions. That he feels could be filled by civilians taking those -- officers who were working. On cars are working on a desk and at least get them in the in the mix your thoughts. I have I read the report and I can't say that I remember every one of those nine positions have more identified. I do think that we disagreed with quite a few of those. You know for example bouncy you can put civilian personnel -- in charge of juvenile offenders or. I talked about putting civilian personnel on the basket in police stations. This -- offices are often the first point contacts for civilians. Or its citizens who have problems and I don't think that VC for anybody have civilian there is so I think we have a distinct -- companion with regard to a lot of those positions. And it certainly shouldn't have police officers sixteen police vehicles. Mr. should be spot of that but the district are spot at cart IRO insidious failing miserably aspect. These commanders -- sports. The but -- -- there just can't a are the Gaza proper. Now historically when the city does reduce the police department's budget and can cut police officers that -- civilian personnel. But those civilian job still have to be done. So what ends up happening is as you eliminate the blood of the funding for civilian personnel within the department. Or reduce it. Those positions are filled by commission police officers not all of those officers from being taken off the streets some of those officers are sick or injured her covering. Some of them may be pregnant officers. So some of them may be on minute administrative reassignment for periods of time so it's not like those eighty or so positions. Are people that were taken off the streets. Now I think that any job that is capable of being done by civilian should be done by a civilian because it's less expansive. Have any of those officers that are doing those positions. Aren't suitable to do the jobs required a police officers and it's time for them to go and we hire more officers that are qualified to do that starts -- -- -- You know we were talking earlier that the consent decree. It's big it's a very very big and in some ways I'm agreeing with you -- you know if it is going to make us better. And that we haven't hanging over head is difficult. But if the bottom line in the end goal. Is that we will be a better force than it's worth it. But I wonder how much that looming over us has impacted those who might think -- do I wanna go win now when there in this transition. There's no way to quantify that but she'd be deluding yourself if you ignore that as a possibility for some of the attrition. Some on the morale issues there were experiencing right now. So usually what happens over time people adjust to the new conditions. And I believe that while not all of the requirements of the consent decree. Are practical. Or necessarily. Going to make the department -- pretty sharply better. I believe that the vast majority of them will. And I think the officers will become more accustomed to the news no one likes change. But I think they'll become more accustomed to the change they'll see some of the benefits as they look around and remember the way things used to be. And the way they are but one of the biggest catalyst for change. Is an infusion of new people. That you can establish a new culture and infuse the new attitude we haven't hired any people in five years or five years behind. -- that that boost in and morale to see. The people that are responding to calls for service have some people that they can share that load with right now. So that's -- or that's why we're talking about hiring standards that's why we're. This administration is committed to 16100. Police officers and we have to hire 425. Offices which -- audience means to realize is. It was five years dig in this soul and it's probably gonna take eight to ten years tending to dig out. And that no we'll take another break we'll be right back. Special guest roughly a billion a -- metropolitan crime commission. -- Eric Kessler with piano and Donovan little -- with the fraternal order of police were talking about time. I call it a crisis I think when you're this low and you say 36 year low in police it's a crisis. And what we're really hearing is it's going to be a long haul for us to fill those slots we do have one class of thirty he'll be finished in six months going to training. Raphael you were saying in the break there's another class is bill. So of the people that are there were probably looking at about a hundred. So believe that there will be at least thirty that'll make it through the finish line. To be eligible to start another clients over the next two months hopefully. But I think the city's really going to be challenged to start a third academy class. And keep in mind that class is limited to thirty at a time by the consent decree. But not all thirty that -- academy. Graduate. There's always going to be attrition are always has and -- lease will. So we're not gonna end up with nineteen new hires -- we're still gonna lose a 110 to 120 officers. Well. We're just going to continue. Looking at this from all aspects and as things have happened like it happened this week with the change in the civil service on thoughts on -- we will keep approaching it but it is. It's serious and I really appreciate all of you joining us Eric and Donovan and Rafael thank you so much and I hope all of our listeners. Will join us again tomorrow. Have a good one.