WWL>Topics>>7-8 1pm Angela, Chief Serpas, PANO and police shortage

7-8 1pm Angela, Chief Serpas, PANO and police shortage

Jul 8, 2014|

PANO responds to the French Quarter shootings, and Mayor Landrieu and police chief Serpas' assessment of the incident and the proposed strategy moving forward…by the city & federal government.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Happy Tuesday everyone pound little rain shower but the sun's gonna come back. I think you go like for three hours we have three very interesting and sort of didn't realize we were doing it but somewhat linked. In subject matter we're beginning with a full hour with captain Mike -- Who want -- I'm sorry who was ahead of panel talking about a really bold letter that he wrote. We're going to be joined little later buying -- -- surpassed and discuss what's going on with the latest on information for the shooting on Bourbon Street. In our second hour where we've got this incredible group of people on who individually and collectively. Are working day in and day out to help families be strong. And we're talking about families that need help. So that we don't in fact have more and more of thought that the killing in the streets that we see all too often. And then we're gonna end -- the thing with the whole hour with judge Laurie white. She's here to talk about a program that she has today but and a much bigger picture. Talking about reentry. People who go to jail so that they don't have to continue to go back. So it's a full three hours but I'm so pleased that we're going to start. -- -- -- -- Beyond the harm of ten people being shot on one of the most famous streets in America last week. Lies the reality. That New Orleans doesn't have enough police officers. Everyone agrees that having many more officers on Bergen street in the early morning hours of -- Sunday. May not have prevented the insane actions of two men. But clearly brought to light once again that we have a crisis in police manpower. Within days mayor Landrieu called a press conference announcing he asked state police or 100 permanent officers. And as president Barack Obama for extra federal help. In essence saying the feds had abandoned streets of America's cities. The state police sent fifty officers who will be here at least through Labor Day no word yet from the president. However Michael Anderson head of the local FBI office wrote a pretty scathing guest column in the newspaper. Defending the amount of work his office is John helping with major street crime arrests and convictions. In New Orleans in the last several years. This obviously is a conversation. That's going to continue for a while. Which is why today we have in studio the head of the police association of New Orleans captain Michael Glaser. Here to respond to again a very strong letter he wrote. In response to the mayor's press conference and the calls for more help from the state and federal government and I appreciate your being here very much. I'm gonna -- just a couple of comments from your letter it says you say that the city's failure to provide security is tantamount to a slow Katrina. Strong words. Well a strong words true very very serious crisis that we're now facing. You know we've been watching this attrition take over. Without suitable hiring to replace. And it's gotten to a point where it's now critical and while the shooting may or may not have taken place more offices -- street. But it it underscores the problem that persists not only on third street but throughout the city. Every district is suffering from a loss of manpower. People are not getting response for calls for service for the police that they should be. We are unable to provide basic police service in the fashion we are accustomed to doing and it's only getting worse because he attrition is only getting worse. We have heard the police chief saying that normally we would lose a 10010120. Officers and any given year now -- -- -- -- I think the figure last night and it doesn't have you held at a piece 75 have already left this year. This is week 25 of the year. 75 officers being going to its three week that works out to one off serving 56 hours is what we're losing. Through Tony fourteen if that persists and we have no reason to suspect that it won't -- next morning -- lose another hundred officers. These officers are leaving from do you know specifically retirement. Illness. Just got a better job. It's all of it we're losing unfortunately besides just to retirement -- people or people who have decided that law enforcement is maybe not the best career for them. We're losing people who have risen in the department to. Coveted positions people and homicide people in the swat team ranking officers assists and commanders -- district. They're all -- Right across the board from the two year veteran of two to 33 year veteran are all leading. Are they going into other law enforcement agencies many of them are. We have several people over the last state police class in many of them just went to Jefferson Parish and I'm sure there's going to be more. Is it all about money. It isn't all about money although unfortunately that's on a more serious issues at this time you know couple years back we week. Identified defected to a some problems with the administration. That we felt the offices weren't happy with the direction apartment was taking and it was driving in fueling. This attrition. But with the pay details system. Having been essentially collapsed for the most part. We're now at a position where the offices are concerned about their ability generate an income amongst all the other things and that's what's really fueling this attrition okay. Another comment she said was that in essence the mayor coming out in your words begging the state police. For help is is tacit admission of utter failure. Asking for assistance during a special events is not unusual effect it's expected. The state has an interest in big events like morning -- on the Super Bowl some of the saints' games in the things that draw people went from all across state. They have a vested interest in that as well and it's reasonable to expect their help. It was a request for permanent. Assistance. Which tells me that this department is unable in his direction it's taking currently isn't the direction is currently going. We will be unable provide basic police service and must have help from other agencies on a permanent basis to me that's an admission of failure. You know they police department does have what is now considered a very active recruitment. Took little while to get their but the there. And I I just recently heard that there they're working on their second they're not gonna have the five classes but it's again another to win. It it'll be it they'll be on the right track. Well hiring is always the way you all -- attrition. Okay that that has traditionally always been the way -- but the problem is that we didn't hire for so long. In the attrition is now so accelerated. That we can't hire a way out of this problem. Because even the people -- academy now I think we have to 47 we start with 32. Immediately drop to 27. I certainly hope we graduate two dozen and by the end of their STO training which would probably be sometime right around next more grow our best tomorrow your. Will be the time those officers will be the first time they'll be able to function on their own. That means that between now and then nobody rehire will actually -- to the staffing of people on the street. We're gonna have to make do with what we have. Campbell we lose. We're gonna take a break we're gonna come back and -- I wanna talk in that in general about the sort of the tone of the letter. -- you're you're very angry. I'm very -- very upset and very angry because our ability serves the public. Is faltering it's not gone and it's gonna get worse before it gets better and this department used to be the model for police departments. And now we're begging for help from anyone who give it okay we're gonna talk about that we're gonna talk about where you think. Things got off track. The association of New Orleans talking about -- letter he wrote. And his very real concerns. I talked about before it was -- a breakthrough there's a real tone of anger you would myth that's. But but let's talk about in essence you're really you don't like the chief. Well I don't like with the chief has been doing okay and those things that that have been done and are contributing to these officers -- It's really just that simple is it a philosophical difference in how one who administers. Well we're running into problem and and and yes it is philosophical difference. And one of the key philosophical differences I think you'll see it if you look at the superintendents response to mr. -- pose a valuation. Of the department. It's. A reliance on proactive policing which we do need is a component we all need. But we abandon the idea of calls for service we've had abandoned the idea of servicing the public and putting them first. In favor of generating proactive numbers. And while the proactive work is necessary it's a necessary component it should not be. Substituted. For the police service of people west and people called police the right to expect him to show up and we don't provide it. We don't have to put things adequately staffed. And -- reliance on phone calls for service is simply not there and that's fundamental. So what you would do if you were chief is that you would just say okay -- were in the shortage. We're going to put everybody for calls for service they're going to be no other proactive initiatives it's not did you abandon it but you have to retool it to. And I think this too much reliance on the numbers too much reliance on -- reading statistical numbers to demonstrate how hard we're working. And how how safe people aren't in the bottom line. What I learned is a district commander. And I committed several districts is that I didn't impress the people in my district with how many arrests we made how many. Traffic stops we made I impress them by making them feel safe and the only way you make them feel safest and beat them safe. And that's a priority and I think we've lost that. Back to another feeling you get a sense that you are very much against what Mary Landrieu has done. With the consumption for almost blaming him for it so when in fact. This is consent to create -- -- happened because we had a messed up department no windows and that's exactly we wrong. There was no consent decree the mayor requested that the DOJ commit and do an evaluation. Which resulted in the consent decree. There was nothing that stopped the mayor and superintendent of police from looking -- to consent decrees that have been. Implemented all across the country you know the police departments and mirroring those. To our department changing the things that need to be changed. And we could have implemented all around and not at the tune of 55 million dollars to do it it wasn't necessary that was something he requested to and he got now we have to pay for. But you've agreed that there was a need to. For change there are some things that needed to be -- and and they will be but now we have to do it on our nickel and -- and there. Discretion as opposed to what we could've done on our own but would bring realistically have done that. Why -- we have done well because it's easier for somebody to save the federal government come in take a picture of this -- what's the matter. There authorities on this and then we'll follow suit -- -- -- five million dollars is a lot. But -- is more than acknowledges -- but now you have a legal obligation to follow their schedule you must do it. Under penalty whereas before you could have done it. When it was available when when you could mean the resource -- budget to do and we -- taken into account. Different things but we were not under a mandate to do that isn't the biggest issue really with with the rank and file. These secondary employment issue absolutely okay. If it. And my hearing correctly that there are going to address that the judge will address that well it is a good example that during essence the city asked the judge to. Abandoned the consent decree restrictions on. Off duty details for essence. And give it back to the police to handle. And lifted the restrictions on on the market value of the and this what we try to tell -- to begin with that this Neville was corrupt practice I mean any organization you can have rules and not everybody follows every rule every time we know that. What did -- -- doesn't mean it was a problem with the rules of a problem with the setup as it was and what they're finding out. Is that this is an event driven city if that the economy is driven by events and events are run by. More so now because we have less cops on the street on duty so there's an even bigger reliance on detail police to run these special events. Every detail -- on it Rodham. The events aren't gonna run and may not even go off -- they may not come back and that's why the city is allowing this to happen and -- asking the judge relaxed this. Should we go back to handling a -- way we used to Chris that's the way it worked. And unfortunately though because is still written into the consent decree these restrictions. Have resulted in significantly less income opportunities for the police. Both of how much they earn and how often they can work and what they can work. It hasn't helped to businesses they're not happy the police aren't happy Republicans deprived of having a lot of police on the street that's not on the taxpayer's dollar put on the propriety yourself. Everybody loses. How much what's the difference today. In this system vs -- systems an officer can make on a four hour detail well once you take off. What do you -- -- the going rate has been set by ordinance. Which means that the Internet used to be able to be negotiate that was flexible depending upon the demand obviously during a time like essence and -- to grow another special events when there were a lot of events in town a lot of demand for police. To -- goes up. In order to encourage people to work. During the year when there's no event going on during a regular detail that would be significantly lower but the ordinances that were passed and not taken into account initially. And so the ordinance had -- keep Hillary there was substantially lower in addition. PO PSC also -- secondary point was taking their cut off the top. It's about time the Aussie got to check and they took the tax is out whereas before they might have been making 35000 now now they're making eighteen and nineteen. And the income opportunities are not the same because you PSE runs all the details. But have to details in the city quit. And wouldn't go to UPS. It's because they're charged more so they're going with the sheriff's office or other organization or was he correct a private security -- Okay do you think that this will change. I'm hopeful that this city has come to realize in the DOJ's come to realize that in order for these events to run. It can't run the way it what's the and that's evident by the fact that they've already tried to get the detail -- change and of propriety of tears. And so forth and defected to keep asking the judge shall let it go back to police and the police run and it runs fine but will that help the morale if the morale is such a big issue. And the making of money the extra money that's needed to. Is fixed. Will that solve some of that attrition it will go a long way to stopping nutrition a lot of these cops -- left because they can't rely on these details anymore it's not just the ability -- ability and -- on a regular basis that they can rely on net income. To pay bills and that changes yes that will impact the attrition in the consent decree does it still limit the number of hours. And an -- can work extra. Well that's again always flexible you know during Mardi Gras they expand that during special events they expand it that's up to the superintendent to expand how many hours he wants that today. -- but but doesn't the consent decree say that it should be limited to X number of hours. Basically what I'm saying is a citizen I've said this before I don't want tired cops have. I'm accomplish fresh which he -- that's why you need more of the okay and that would be the problem and hopefully when we get enough of them that won't be an issue. That's one of the reasons why we have a civil service to look into giving a race at a police. And why we've asked the DOJ repeatedly and still talk to fix the detail systems and it's more manageable more profitable for everybody. I meant to ask you earlier because we we talked about it. Where do we go off track. I mean this didn't happen overnight the losses didn't have this has been happening. Well understand -- that the attrition issue. Began. When we stop time. That's the bottom and we stopped trying because we didn't we had a huge debt we stop trying to you had a huge debt but then we incurred a -- -- OK -- we incurred the debt that was left from the previous administration but then we got the sheriff's office consent decree. And we got to police department consent decree. And now we have this huge not to that has to be met every time so now we have a serious fiscal problem. But the lack of hiring for the last four years lack of significant hiring the last four years. Has not offset our attrition and because of what's the strategies and policies that will put into place that the offices didn't like and don't don't have faith and confidence and and now the details system. Coupled who is the -- attack on the civil service system. Has resulted in officers leaving even faster so bottom line until leaving faster you not replacing him what happens. There's not enough and they won't be enough or their officers who have left that would like to come back. I'm sure they would didn't really wanna go I've spoken to a lot of officers who did not really want to go to just felt like they need to tip. And it's a shame because like that they've managed to get into places like homicide the swat team. Intel upper management. Dead guys and had a brilliant career ahead of him. And they just said I can't make a living and I can't rely on making a living and can't count on that I have to go someplace where I can't. Well I have a feeling for anybody listening. Again you're very sensitive to that detail system because that's such a big portion of one's salary I think to the average citizen the bigger issue is why are we paying police enough. So that you don't have to beat that concern not that you don't have overtime but there's an occasional detail -- -- I'm being realistic. But for heaven's sake it's it's that big of -- thing why aren't we as a community addressing pay. I don't think people realize how big was I don't think the DOJ in -- court realized how big it was. Even though we told them so until these major events started to come in and he realized the GOP is secret not fill them. And that if they couldn't be filled that they were in jeopardy. And that's what we try to tell them to begin with that it was that series you don't understand the volume -- magnitude of the problem here it's not like other cities. And that's the problem and I think the public realizes just how important -- kill cops are but. The city is always gotten away with paying us less than they probably should have because we had detail opportunities. And now we don't surprise. Going back to a forty hour week and now let's add another forty -- Not making the best account can be well yeah you really want that to be the case but. Right now you don't have any cops on the street at all. What's your option Michael -- I really appreciate this very much stay with us we'll be right back let's go to the newsroom I'm Angela under the don't do well. I want to thank captain Mike -- once again for joining us we are now enjoying. I chief of police chief Ronald surpassed. Thank you for joining us as well I can't tell you I'm good how are you crazy time. -- -- And talked and talked to me about what you've been hearing of the concerns once again of the of the rank and file. We know it's very clear to me and it's clear to everybody who's paid attention that we got a long way to come a long way to go. We lose about a 130 people here on average for the last twenty years and we're about to lose probably 75 through the first seven months of the year possibly that many in the next year. But I do think that oftentimes well at least some of the other factors come out for example. We've promoted 400 police officers would -- percent pay raise for each one we've got another 200 we're getting ready to promote. Soledad to promote -- we got civil service together as a registered were promoted thirty -- sergeant in the last couple months we're in the middle of working on new lieutenant examination. And I think that the people of the war ones and I don't just say this by itself or just sit around and you know. Think what I think is true -- try to look at the data well the New Orleans crime coalition which does the survey every six months of the people who walk ones. And the universe didn't want equality alike survey that's done every couple years they both of finding the same thing. They are finding that people feel. That are about his police department that may have -- a very long time which is a good. Anecdote to try to get more money and support for the police as opposed to always be a negative and pointing out how the sky is -- talk about the things that people are really responding to. Nearly 80% of the people of New Orleans in the university and who owns pole. Dunn and mark I don't think anybody can -- the university in New Orleans polling technique done in September October 13. And -- -- crime pollution can hardly be assaulted as a group of business leaders and ethnic leaders and religious leaders. Both these surveys are finding that significant percentages of people into loans feels say. Do they want a -- -- department absolutely but about six out of ten people are saying we're going in the right direction as opposed to three out of ten people. And 2009. So. And a lot of really good things going on but we see the challenges nobody ever thought. Reforming this police department that between 2005. And 2010. Has literally. Serious problems that no one argue about nobody can argue that they were serious problems that occurred between 2005 and 2010. I don't think -- it -- In the last several months so I agree with you on the that you -- study very clearly that was the resounding thought the people felt safe for the things were better. But in the last several months that's kind of crumbled one because I think people are seeing that we our show short staffed number one. And then we have the extraordinary event of suburban street shootings even though we have shootings. Too frequently on many streets. But I'm just brings to mind that we we still have a lot of violence in this town and -- over and over again here's the need for more officers. And I agree with the fact that we need more officers but we don't need offices just to do one thing and that's speak the critical question here. Did you know if you're only experience in the world has been in the confines of New Orleans, Louisiana than it is typical perhaps -- bigger issue that many other departments are confronting. For example. All the work that's being done to solve these murder. Involved with the young woman on urban street ball that's not done and none of that done by police officers in cars were in uniform but -- but detectives. Detectives have to be trying they have to be identified they have to be supported. Community policing have to be trained identified supported sex crimes investigation juvenile crime investigations child abuse investigation. Narcotics investigations street level mid level and high level so we don't have to make a lot of judgments every single day. Would I want more people in the car absolutely that the victim of a sex abuse have to tell me we close that shot up because we've suddenly we prioritize. So it is an unnecessary reality now if you look around the country. Memphis this city there is cutting the police officers health insurance contributions by the city by nearly 70% in their prices went up 24%. Chicago there were more than fifty people shot over the weekend. We are all confronting the same things into wall and god blessed for its unique culture for a unique history -- -- into architecture -- urgent need to shed. But when it comes to crime fighting and when it comes to people's perceptions a crime we're just like everybody else in the country. We're all confronting the question of why does a young man with no education who's been in and out of the criminal justice system feel free. Took a look on out in front of anybody to include police officers issues somebody that Matt. We cannot simply hide our head in the sand and say it won't is somehow different from the rest of the world the world confront that in this nation. No absolutely we are and that's probably a very good thing that we are. I think so yeah but it's the same time I think that for the average citizen what I have heard and I have heard from all the neighborhoods because what's that's what we do is interview the neighborhoods. Is they do want better call for service they do want to -- on the patrol -- it doesn't mean they don't want someone in sex crimes or narcotics. It's that they want somebody there quickly if they need them. No no question that we all agree that. But I still have to have and you'd still have to have competent. That we've not abandoned some of those other first call that people need. My child was abused at school. My child brother as sexually assaulted my two year old building still have to be handled. Right there's nobody else in the city -- those investigations. The -- was our. Let -- -- very quickly about the office of secondary employment keeps coming back to that detail work I didn't know that they had done. But during essence fest the sort of abandoned it and now -- go back. Isn't there at the thought that the judge will reconsider how that is structured since it is such a source of of pop out dissent among so many. I think that you know first -- we should recognize that. Police paid -- -- Is a distraction from that officer's life and other words. What we talk about -- he felt and I even hear the advocate of safety they'll talk about it and sometimes I think they say will win what used to be sent which is that after you've already done forty hours. And help so pay the bill automatic get those officers who are -- given forty hours of their life away from home. And then go work eight veto the balancing act have to be that once again if -- sum total experience on earth has been an enormous police department. You may not realize that police departments around America have had a centralized paid ecosystem for decades. And at war but it has to be done and a very. That -- done awaited because I think Joseph Morgan I can't speak for our. But I believe she's senses that this is an important issue like all of the consent decree and I think everybody getting a fair -- The labor groups. Were recently overturned by -- they did not she did not side with them on some of their position. But I think she's incredibly fair minded and balance so I'm looking to a future here we will find a way to make the pretty details. A recognition that have already worked -- forty hours. And the -- details are in the best interest of the community and the officers themselves I think there's going to be something happen. And chief of hope you'll stay with this we're going to take a quick break we'll be back and I would like to talk to about the latest on the burden street shouldn't sit back. Stay with this will be within -- financial plan doesn't do well. -- -- -- joined by a police chief Ronald your hands and can you give us any updates on what happened that horrendous Sunday morning. There's no doubt that these two young men decided to do something incredibly stupid. And within hours our detectives had narrowed in on one of the two guys. And he has since been arrested and he's in Mississippi and he's gonna come back Louisiana State these charges I'm sure. We still need the public's assistance as well as the tremendous work of our eight sister and homicide detectives could -- a if you will the second shooter. There has been a lot of phone calls to crime stoppers again something I'm very excited about as -- -- three full years of double digit increases and people can't cry. -- -- 101112 and thirteen another sign that people believe in the department. I'm willing to share information so in this case we've got a lot of phone calls a lot of information we still need to this second guy. We've got to find him and bring -- minute hold them accountable. I'm an ignorant -- is it still understood that these two guys were shooting in each other whenever there are dumb argument ones in the shooting each other if so. It's incredible to me that. When they were not shocked. Act. I'm not enough and I go to church alive god works in mysterious and I don't know I mean. It such a terrible terrible tragedy that those nine people were hurt and it looked phenomenal tragedy for the family in the community. Of the young woman who expired. You know we have head. Going all the way back to win. I was a young police also work in the urban promenade and when I was too young police later operate -- people have done some of the most amazing things of violence towards other people with weapons. With virtually a police officer standing close enough. To be in the way of the bullet I mean this is what I think is so important that when people are angry. Thinking about anybody around them and that's what happened and then these two men were shooting in conditions that we're not like they were trained they weren't taking. And they were basically you know from the video it pretty clear just -- shots at each other. But it's not. It's not anything other than we have to remember who chose to shoot. Go find those people and that's what we're gonna do. It is sound. It has to be disheartening certainly for the police force. Because I think everybody does agree that you had to -- -- standing there it wouldn't of stopped at the that their stupidity and that's exactly what it is. But -- in reading the article that the young young Austrian woman who was shot in the face gave an interview with her Australian newspaper. And said she'd written her paper her a school paper on after. The shootings of the children in Burke in the Connecticut. What has changed in America and in reality nothing has changed into a bold times for her to be there standing there become a victim of this. And it was just such I hit to the guts of we are gun crazy here. This is not and anti NRA this is just too many guns that everybody can just. Because of their immaturity because of their stupidity. This is how I'm gonna resolve something I haven't done in my pocket. Well I'll tell you think the honest truth to that there are some people who -- crisis to advocate for their narrow interest. And there are some people who use crisis that try to find a way forward. I think we're trying to find a way forward I think the mayor is trying to find a way forward I think -- nutter in Philadelphia is trying to find a way forward. I think mayor Emmanuel and Chicago -- trying to find a way forward. And it is it -- it distractions sometimes when people put their home narrow purposes whatever they may be. Either on crisis to use it as a way to advocates singular point. I think we're better off as a nation and we're better off as large cities when we come together and try to find solutions is out of appearing to always be the critic and you know -- number what president Roosevelt -- about critic right. No matter that they're not in the arena so we have been focused on who's in the arena. And how we can make a difference. I was here. For 21 years in my life and weapon was gone for nine years and see the same problems. Police chiefs. Do you generally on Don is this. It doesn't have anything to do -- Second Amendment and it doesn't have anything to do with Democrat or Republican it's all about the illegal use. And the illegal possession of weapons. And new wall in the Chicago or two's city very familiar with the research data that Talbots. And that is what we call a clue and policing. I don't know what the judges think if you have someone in front you who has been arrested for the legal use simple possession of a weapon. And they are not incarcerated within the first twelve month in the city of New Orleans they are bringing -- more likely to kill somebody. And what are more likely to shoot somebody than any other criminal that there compared to. Now that is a clue. The mayor wrote a letter to the judges asking them. Take these factors in consideration. When we give bail bond decisions not as punishment but as a matter of public safety. We have data that shows people -- three times more likely to kill. In the city of -- laws when they present with this one condition of illegal use -- possession of a farm. I think the mayor and the police department and the prosecutors were all. Trying to say if someone in this city as the rest city legally possess and use of a gun. We got to do something. We got to do something. Our chief I appreciate your time I really do we never resolve -- for anything. But at least we keep the conversation going and I think that is what's important people are very interested they wanna know that things are going on in the changes will be made. And the chicken ultimately catch these guys and I know you will. I think we will thank you very very much. Okay. Stay with us everyone will be right back.