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WWL>Topics>>7-17 9am Tommy, NOPD loses 73 officers

7-17 9am Tommy, NOPD loses 73 officers

Jul 17, 2014|

As NOPD begins another recruiting drive, what about retention of officers? An experienced detective, Danny Hunter, quit to become a fitness trainer. Danny was one of 73 to recently leave the department. Tommy was joined by Eric Hessler, Attorney for the Police Association of New Orleans and Danny Hunter, former detective to talk retention in the NOPD.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

We're getting -- talk about NO PD in so many times and just recently this week day started a second recruiting drive or another one -- nominee recruiting drives they've had but. You know I think now I think -- gets lost in all of this is retention of seasoned officers because they tell yet. And Eric Kessler will tell us in a minute and join us he's an attorney would handle the police association of new wall and that. And even not even first off he got to find people can -- a class then you got to see who it is exactly that drops out of the class then. They have to be on a street for I think it's six months but I'm not sure until it can ride. By themselves and then. You know whether or whether it's broadcasting whether it's medicine whether it's plumbing I don't care what it is. You're never as good -- when you first start as you are. Years later and -- experience because you learn different things as you do it. You're gonna have an officer out there on patrol that. I would like to have somebody that Scott five to seven to ten years under their belt but we're losing those kind. So we're to spend some time talking about retention now Eric Kessler joins as an attorney with the with the panel of the police association of New Orleans and Monica Hernandez that a story with channel four. About a police veteran Danny hunter who. Man isn't about this experience and officers you can get the decided you know what I had enough. And I'm going on and on to something -- and he is now only. Fitness instructor at fortitude cross it in Slidell. And he looked at me David 21 Wilkinson hopefuls. Hopeless not at work can't do anything. And with that we -- -- in -- check -- lead detective -- -- -- Danny -- com or whatever -- -- there I thank you so much taken time to come in and Eric Kessler thank you for taking the time when this is well. I let's start before we get to Danny's story. -- Erica about what Danny's. Decisions says about the current state of the NL PD in the emphasis on. Recruiting as opposed to retention. Well I saw the interview on on channel four not heard to any story and unfortunately it's a story that I hear. Almost every day. From persons that are that have left are leaving are just waiting for the opportunity to leave. And to department has a great great. Focus on hiring and have a sign in front of the and a PD saying -- are. What you don't see is there's a list of reasons why. People should apply. And that shameless to read as well and that doesn't exist is exact same reason to wire option believe that they have. Actually no support from the administration. They have. And no resources to to. When you have officers that are -- There are given responsibility you gotta get in the ability to do it and when they do what you gotta you gotta reward. The eight years as everybody in the city inclusion of the administration. Will be the first to admit that they need to be increased. And they talk about it they talk about it -- Moan about it and absolutely nobody does anything about it. And in the options are realizing. Eric hear me talk to David Blake about you know I don't care benefits. An electrician alcohol Mara. Physician. A lab tech what we do here today garden -- when you name it whatever the occupation the premium. I think should be put on experience because inexperienced guys go girl was to be nowhere near as good. Or rather just the opposite somebody without experience is going to be anywhere near as effective. In terms of somebody with experience so. I would have to askew and we always invite NO PD on -- and we we don't get a response in times we get a statement. What would be the motivation. Why in the world would management and and Danny is I understand it was. The 73. Officer or at least one of 73 Italy even and that's when he left and as a monitor and and there's stories on what the numbers now. The -- world would management of any organization put a premium on recruiting and that retention of experienced people. The only thing that I can think is. That. They want a. Just some type and have an immediate. Reaction immediate type. Type solutions. Not long term because we have police options -- bet that that sign on and buy into it. In -- here in and realize that that console. Sold and our bill of goods -- the that said -- can't be lived up to you know one of the things that that. I think the problem is is that. The administration has talked about changing talked about. How things are gonna get better. Have absolutely shown a complete lack of regard the conditions within you know PD I'm talking from they want and and and officers are just simply setup. And believe -- these these persons that opinion to come out that sport police firemen. They read in the news they they see what's going on. And I think that's one of the reasons why you're is accepted despite the days of millions of dollars have been put recruitment and -- in a class of 48 when they're promised -- five classes. Hundreds if. And had a hard time till now what what -- Don't understand is the numbers are the numbers so. If you you know attracted to quote the Bible -- -- profit of force if if they gain. When he aid in and lose 73 in -- just seems odd that doesn't make sense to me so it just makes me wonder. If there's something -- It different at play here because even if you say OK and you know what you try to get publicity and you get on a news and we at this big recruiting effort rock rock. At the end of the month -- had to say we have so many offices on the street and so many offices having you covering each district right. Quite yet and I think any would agree with you wanna say that that if the officers actually believe that there was a real. Dedication in a real effort to to assist the officers on the street and make their working conditions better and two to actually. Allowed him to do their jobs I think options like Benin and and dozens and dozens of others what state but they realize that's just not there but the reality of it. I want to take a break and -- spent a lot of time with Danny doesn't wanna hear historian and also inside of NO PD would some of these problems are. But -- -- ask you Eric before we do take the break do you have any confidence. Where do you sense and sense that you're you're. Did not constituency your -- members have any confidence in the leadership banana eating. You know I'd have to say this you know and and mark of 2011. When he announced that blemish on the announced -- into decree chief surfers said. And I'll -- because I believe there's no question that this plan will catapult our department. And I was in march of 2011 and then it'll take disappears -- the temple was pointed in the wrong direction. But say this Eric throughout my career whenever I've heard anybody talk about going to a different level it was never -- I guess in studio Danny hunter who used to be on the job for how long is an -- -- -- for seven years seven years and had risen to the rank of detective yes -- okay. And you got a text while we're in commercial break from an officer on the job in the blue uniform right now and it said demon green and enough. I would not mind reading and also there. He he won a meter lets you know. That you can't hear from offices on a job right now because they fear retaliation against their apartment and believe -- happen in a heartbeat. So ten and that's one wonder have you because he had never lose right now you can imagine -- -- -- -- yes sir tell beyond. What it was that it. And I guess rule works is certainly a word back as a we'll find out what makes you wanna be an officer. What Major -- winning everything in life seems at a tipping point waiting on by god that's enough and do what was it in your case. It was a really a combination of several things. With the strawberry and -- back of never. Of having. Any event scheduled for so many months. And not my personal event scheduled for so many months and and finding out a week before hey you can't do this event you can do which you have planes and because you have to now work on canal street -- -- outstanding in a wedding doing whatever it is that exactly and you had put in you're slipped to get off I was scheduled off -- I was I was fortunate to be an and a position where ahead weekends off. And Dayton -- how I was scheduled to be also I didn't even request to be golf and and found out literally. On Monday before. I had to work this event. On Friday Saturday and Sunday overnight 787 PM to 7 AM. Which like to say it was a distraught over the camel's back and that was because some of them in town yes or did you normally work in plainclothes detective yes -- but in this case it's an idea to put the uniform on and allowed in patrol desperate which I'm guessing you -- not opposed to some absolutely not -- -- when -- -- a couple of cells -- your police also. -- Black white green uniform not at all not uniform just opened -- either way -- -- -- let's go back and talk. And Erick hang out his -- back -- -- but tell me anyone who was it. Meet you wanna be a police officer in the first place where you prominence it I was born and raised in and think about Paris. My graph all the raw or Richard on our senior retired as a captain and eighties. From the walls baseball meant my own goal record -- junior. Just recently retired in November December as a sergeant. Both family members had over thirty years with the department. And it was just something that I'd had Indian and that's what I wanted to do was a career that I wanted. I presume you've spoken to them about NO PD now and then a month raffle is passed away. And I've made the comments several times anyone who who knows me connect and vote for that. -- say that -- -- -- that he was a lot of bright -- -- lady's turn over in his grave right now about the -- an apartment is. -- -- Also agreed -- -- -- leaving because related apartment is right now. A debt does it do it'd be you know even there seven years and yes and you -- -- I -- for thirty days is there a point. Where he noticed it start to take a big nosed. I'm not exactly sure when he noticed it -- -- about the department as a whole among working conditions for officers right. Had honorable records had never been in trouble dozen escort I'm also win when he noticed that but it. Win. -- pretty much seen it. I pretty much seen it once served -- took over. Which -- surface took over. In almost immediately within a month or two. Did the conditions started changing things started changing and it wasn't -- changed for the good conditions and things like -- While the defer one of the first things that happened was the take home vehicle pay if you work. Grateful enough to have one. By that immediately went -- they went from literally twenty to forty dollars a paycheck -- to I was paying and their neighborhood of ninety to a hundred every two weeks. Because of where I lived and I could've said no but it I kept the vehicle it was it was a it was a nice luxury to have. The pension. He. Column a one and -- I don't -- -- has been to pension ended up going up the healthcare contributions contributions just a health care. That went up almost all of almost a 100%. Over the over there at that -- storm from -- -- has taken over. I don't want -- did take it to -- his own praises Eric Kessler attorney with the police association new loans panel but. For those that are listening right now with -- and those -- just a disgruntled. Former employee that's looking to grind and -- it -- -- about Danny -- And Danny and his father and uncle and Danny's. Typical of of the police officers that we have on the job and typical of the -- -- that left. And you know we had a lieutenant. That was -- very well respected police lieutenant he was in charge. Suburb of the district investigate to investigative unit. And he left recently to take a job. As a road deputy Egyptian -- You know he realized it take -- a slight pay cut because it is great but. The work he realizes his quality of life size pieces and -- life. Would. And at work environment would would skyrocket and that's you know that's human nature. And -- people leave. You know for those reasons that we -- people -- -- stain -- trying to trying to you know make changes -- it in but. You don't attempt has generated seven years and and when you got a seven years ago it's been eaten up and then somebody at the cost of. Of of health care. You know got to make less tickled -- now on the course that music or what what what can tell you other than. This city needs to come to the table and and -- these men and women -- deliverables. The Ani hundreds says here offered numerous awards office of the month award from the DEA for his time on narcotics. And say you're working undercover in -- -- I was and a plainclothes. Capacity. Where necessarily. Mon may lead on the cover work that we did whether it was mostly surveillance. And on the -- vehicles. But it and didn't obtaining search warrants and and different things like that which is basically. We did such a good job on certain cases when I was in narcotics. That the DA recognize that and -- gave my entire unit and award. So I think at some point you go from officer idea of the academy go to senators and office annually queuing up to detective yes he thought OK things are working out disagree reform in law enforcement correct. -- -- What it and a lot of people win when they hear -- detective owning your detective. Did did did difference between the detective and all the places and a detective with the most baseball meant. All you're getting is is a title. You don't get a you don't get a series you don't get any anything you get a title so I'm still. Technically on paper a police also one which is the same as someone who just got hired on a job and came off. Of their CO program as a police also won. But because I'm in a certain capacity. -- Danica classified as a detective. So that that's when it goes with the -- I can hang on both he'll take some calls to a -- 60187. Until -- 866. 89087. If you're on NO PD if you were on NO PD went to somebody else above to hear from it. -- Danny hunter one of 73 officers to leave the force this year Eric Kessler attorney with. A panel police association of new loans we're talking about while -- big. Focus on recruitment with NO PD what about inside retention of officers for those seasoned officers and veterans that. Really know what they're doing and -- won't come back to -- asking about. Recruiting classes because we hear about a recruiting class gone through the academy and we hear about innocent people dropping out which I guess is gonna happen the class of 32 which took a long time to put together is now down at 28. -- about officers they get through the academy they work with an LPD then maybe they take their training. Somewhere else who have. Well I think. You know the jury's still out on that obviously. You know people. Are coming out of the media academy class has been so long as we at one it's kind of hard to say but. Yet we I know person does that have left the academy some for personal reasons some for. Have failed out you know but so that's that's not necessarily uncommon. But what is it is. One of the problems as officers on the street for less than a year. And and they see. The reality of the of the job and they see. The working conditions and work environments. And that the treatment that that. They receive from the city administration. And they realize that you know all they did in the academy rules and regulations -- she -- there's actually. How it actually was put into place. -- you are talking about. -- the differences between what they thought police in the streets of new loans would be like in what it is you Tom that the working conditions are rules that are. Quick yes sure I mean it in what did you academy they taught me. What I needed to know to write reports were -- -- note two. To fill out forms and and certain things like that they don't give your class and and what to do land. You know you're accused of of violate the policy are you accusing. Of being discarded two assists in an almost certain that you know the department treats it like you you're trapped somebody's hit. Without investigation -- just the way that and the kind of hurt and also. From their perspective equipment and what happened I note that I didn't do that and I'm guilty. You know before they even conduct an investigation. As seen Danny shaking his head over here and I would think you know in a situation like there's like LTD has had its problems willow acknowledged happened in the situation where. On golf they -- the paralysis from analysis were you afraid to do anything if you had get so full of so many different options is that same thing when you out there on the street but sometimes you have to make a decision about. You know whether it's hammer me whether or how to handle a situation where before you think and of reacting Danny you're thinking of nine houses -- when I get back to the office. Exactly 100% correct -- now and it. Used. That's split second of second guessing yourself can cause life or death situation for you. And and it's not healthy is not good you know there's been several times where. I've been a situation where I knew what I need to do but it thought twice about doing it because I was afraid of repercussions from the police apartment. There and I would I was in I got shot at twelve Tom's. One particular one a search warrant and storing the afterwards investigation. Audit within hours of it we received a -- my whole you know we're sitting in. It in in a police car and unmarked car with with the integrity bureau given statements. 'cause they were forcing us to give statements about accusing us of doing something wrong when we were the ones who service are going in China. While. Eric. In terms of if you can take us inside the district office and I don't think it's unreasonable for anybody to expect decent working conditions. Would -- what are some of the more and egregious. Things that are cause and seasoned officers to -- and how easy would they be to fix. You know the I think. A couple of things. Need to be addressed by the administration and and and one is. The -- You know these officers -- being. And pushed and pulled like one of those -- people only things on. And Dr. -- they're they're sent here sit there. Other response that their primary task. Can't be fulfilled their obligations can't be fulfilled. Because of got to go in and can work in downtown event. And and they understand that that. You know there's going to be two occasions and -- necessary in her biceps at the plate but. Now it's not it's except occasionally. It's been -- It's the norm. And in these boxes are just. There expect not only to do that but to get their primary test. It's just did you know there's a multitude. Of problems of -- -- -- you know it is a policy that if you have a mental call 103 AM call. Where it is mental patient involved you have to have four -- and are. To handle it as -- policy. Often times you have two losses and -- -- So you're forced to violate policy. In order to accomplish a call and guess what if something -- goes wrong they're accountable. It one and also let me you'd wanna work under that condition Norwood Danny was saying before is. And he had a wedding coming up and and you're standing in the wedding earlier key part of it maybe it's a relatively yours getting married you tell -- six months before that. Okay -- I get this coming up -- need -- -- off an -- and you know work I don't know anybody Bono work under those conditions. Aniston and it's really again you know we understand its applications. And but it's it's gonna get worse. Before it gets better. But that was that's more the policies and is the exception. Possibly you know that you have meant they don't have the manpower to do it any other way unfortunately and it's not gonna change attention. -- so many times we hear about. Officers that that I honestly don't feel safe out on the street because. I'd like -- and Eric that you know I need for two offices in two ranked I think is what you said they're just not available. Maybe do wrong saying. God forbid if you revealed that senior violated policy if you don't do anything he you're gonna be I guess accused of not doing you job it would seem to me. If I were in office under these conditions I would look out for me person I would say. You know a lot of -- me out of trouble that this job well however little it pays. Is is important to me in my family so I'm human and and plus when you talk much shortage of manpower and back up and get -- home alive first. We never happened coming on it and address that because. I've been in that situation. Every other police officer has. You know what thick document call to enroll you dispute. The policy says you know it's hot caller call -- some place in danger and you you could be in danger -- also could be in danger you know he's got to wait for another officer. It is if if you're police doesn't -- stand out front of somebody's house. On a two minute call in your waiting for now the police have -- and which is a policy which is right in your ear and somebody screaming from gaining beating -- beaten stabbed -- or what not to. The policy is one thing and the human side of it yeah accomplish such -- pentagon and the badge have been trained to do this. And and I don't know talking live with myself listening to that -- on the closed doors. So if you go in. -- hypothetically and something goes wrong and yet to shoot and kill somebody or you're gonna be in trouble then put on myself. Adam -- that -- can be reassigned investigated. And the outcome of what you did is gonna determine whether other determine what your right when he should've done if you go in there and everything yourself fine you can be here. People in there and something happened that. That. It took some bad publicity. You going to be. Twist in the wind until they -- salad and the dignity and I got a public option -- parties. At the got a perfect example lot of duty shooting. Police department is clearing and for an -- months later he's he's you know. Still waiting to get back to work and end in the the emotional and financial told its -- -- as his family has not been lost on the you know a thousand results we have left. You you can do everything right with the wall space appalled. And they faults. Find something wrong that they can't. Clearly -- -- -- in an -- to -- Erica I heard you say the word publicity is is what the news reports and what it looks like. Take and precedence over the right way to do the job and protect the people that are doing it. Well I think to place sucks perceive it that way. And certain department I think in my experience. Country to that way if let's say. You -- two losses and do exactly the same thing and and there's a slightly different outcome but it's it's understood why -- just had to do what they're gonna say it's its outcome based. Offices that. Yet the publicity dutchman. So -- about so Danny did you feel like you had no back up. Nobody -- you back at his own music infused with backup on -- street but nobody had your back and if god forbid. He did the wrong thing unit behind out to dry and made an example of. Absolutely that there were times when. And it's still goes on it. Also do everything right -- and Jennifer ended the example of that debt of Eric just said that guy did everything right. And he's still reassign. It's not he's not reassigned to these punished he's reassigned because they're investigating it but. Technically if he worked details. He's reassign and he's punished now because he can't work details while he's not while he's on the reassignment which is gonna take that financial. It's her own. And you said you'd take home pay as a detective. Which again is no distinction between that appeal -- police officer one. 650000 my take yes sir I was a mechanical ones in terms of by and before relate to both bill because I know we're running short on time here do you think. There's adequate training because it seems like if you if you. In a questionable situation or wrong situation unit behind out to dry. And sometimes those split second decisions that are now being affected by. Analysts is can happen here I do this. Do you think the training is adequate when it comes to use of firearm not use of firearm and -- retention of officers not. -- initial training that the issue would call it on continuing education Danny so with you DDT. Continuing education. With the walls -- moment right now is a one week. Every year. Class that everyone has attended decked out implemented. A few years back. In my opinion. That training was inadequate because as being taught by people who don't have a clue. Is -- terrorism how many guns around on street etc. it's always been top officers who. Who really haven't been on a street in years it's been top officers who who haven't been trained. Two to train officers who who do the job every single day. I get the training. You know under a microscope. If you do their own thing you don't get the benefit of the doubt -- his view that 650 dollars. Every two weeks take now with the -- Carlos they supplemental Gothenburg and and so eighteen hard dollars -- mark. And end the perception is and correct me if I'm wrong here Eric that. You're wrong enamored of you'd have to prove that you're right in that it. Pretty much in any note -- -- -- the -- escape police justice sometimes don't don't do. Something wrong I mean that's happened and there's no doubt about it and when they do Romney do wrong potentially but should be punished accordingly when they make a bad choice. I think that need to be taken in consideration is you know circumstance is that -- under. -- -- department immediately assumes that you did it intentionally. You just you just. Failed to. You know you just fail is -- wrong. Is Al as a result of the consent decree was it like that before. I think it's I think it serves our economy knee jerk reaction to it to the consent decree means to get the DOJ FB IB IB IP MM CC everybody -- Looking at police officer's actions. If the department. Take the safe road and says. Well what we know we're gonna. We're -- Let all the cards play. And until we find out the two were comfortable -- isn't aware that the publicity dies down. You know that -- they do they wait that long. And it doesn't help anybody if you know the public wonders why has it taken so long to figure out what happened we consult. Art liner and say and I think they remember it was clear they do is I'm not forget that part yeah. In that department answer for -- buddy if I can wave a magic -- or somebody could. And make NO PDC to act like it was for the officers. The good hard working officers trying to do the right thing would you go back do you miss it. I'll I do miss -- miss the job I don't really miss NO PD I don't really. That's Ferguson I don't miss so people -- that you like so much about being a police officer. The actual work. Narcotics work was -- then that I had a passion for and in the camaraderie of the offices on the street and lots of friends still on the job -- friends that that are no longer on its. And just haven't had brother and sisterhood is is sultanate can't be match between any any other job all around him and feeling like he made a difference -- absolutely absolutely. Danny appreciates coming and sort of standing on -- of the story Eric Kessler is well we'll continue to to do stories on this and figure out why such. Focus on recruiting and -- my two retention.

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