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WWL>Topics>>7-22-14 3pm, Angela, A Better Police Department for New Orleans

7-22-14 3pm, Angela, A Better Police Department for New Orleans

Jul 22, 2014|

Do you think the trouble with staffing NOPD has reached the crisis stage? Citizens are take action for more police in New Orleans! We’ll explore the grassroots movement – A Better Police Department for New Orleans. Their demands: better salaries, better starting pay and working conditions for our police officers. Their ultimate goal—to stop the flood of officers leaving NOPD. Would you join the movement?

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Thank you again. John Kennedy for spending a whole hour with this we will have him back. Well moving on we have talked a lot about the crisis in law enforcement in New Orleans the number of officers down to historic lows. The struggle to find new recruits. And the concern that many more officers will be leaving because of morale and money issues. The mayor and police cheaper trying to recruit recruit as quickly as they can. But a group of citizens feels it's time to say enough. Let's say the NO PD by raising salaries. And improving the working conditions of those who choose to put their life on the line. It may be the right thing to do. But is it realistic. Let's talk to those who want to start the movement. -- parent is president of top eight and president of the police community advisory board. -- sap co owner of red being reality and chair of the warehouse security district. Bob Sims with the French Quarter management district and chair of the security task force. And cash Sharif for a member of the fall -- -- improvement association. And chair of the crime prevention committee. I am humbled put in your presence first of all you'll do agree to -- but what a great coalition of people. Who obviously are joining hands to say my word not yours but enough. That's correct how many shows have we done. Talking about the same thing. Which -- which few shows together and we appreciate the opportunity to speak to again -- You know this is that you saying there's a group of us here -- from very different neighborhoods the French Quarter the warehouse district temerity. And we're here to say enough is enough for me you know we want from the city to move forward and and I Cooper. Quite frankly we've been hearing the same thing for twenty years or so and we it's just like -- on date as I was saying. We keep repeating this it would keep going back to the same issues the pay the issues. You know that the details system. Wind is our. Our -- -- the morale the condition -- -- exactly what is and when that our political people gonna say you know we -- to get both important work on this and fix it for good. -- -- that discussion about manpower has been an old discussion. It's obviously that one mechanics can't expect to build up. Police officers -- retain a police force when they're not paid commensurate with their job. There 600 police officers have been laid off in Miami and we should be over there grabbing them via wire me why would they laid off. Despite this budget while 600 trained yes men and women apps -- welcome in New Orleans nice lateral. And up go get them. I like your attitude you can look at. Historically. You know PG. Has underpaid its offices because they expected them to make it out. Off duty through details and in having other jobs. One should not have that to be a mandatory situation if you wanna work beyond your regular shift fine. But we have now with consent decree where this conversion overturn a new. Secondary employment office is not going real smoothly right now. So we haven't these numbers or accelerating as forest for people leaving the department. And I come from a long -- enforcement background I start my career -- royal politic -- many years ago was an agent. And I later became a federal -- occasion and just retired after 25 year career and wanna look at these brave people within OPD. Putting their life on the line every day going against Gordon felons with the locker resource they have is assembly. Not only that but we are the lowest paid. A paid police forces in an entire nation. Where that we're at the bottom 10% nationwide. That's problematic. That is problematic and we've said on the show from day one. Why should somebody work a sixty hour week or seventy hour week -- an eighty hour week in a profession. That is demanding of your total attention absolutely and so you're exhausted its. And then I I look at these men and women think if you're working seventy hour weeks. What kind of like you have with your family. Have no lineup and then we want to bring in nine point 38 million visitors last year we want to take that number and keep growing ten million visitors the following year. I mean all the different things that we have Mardi Gras we've got jazz dance French Quarter fest I mean these guys have to work all of that. It's just simply not fair what other city. Has a police force like we do -- now. No other cities come to us that scrambled immediately absolutely so the issue really gets down to let's -- right. -- to shoot her and then where's the money that's the question where's the money we hopeful we're down 400 officers that's fourteen million dollars where's that money. To go into the general fund if it does why. It's been targeted -- -- that's the issue it's in the budget from this past year and the were down about 34% officers. Where did the money -- I thought we were budgeted. 450. New new people were budgeted for -- -- -- officers we are budgeted for 15100 so -- in addition. Well there are gonna are 150 this year and unfortunately they have one class that's going on now with the org is down about 27 and possibly another class starting in August so. They made are roughly sixty rather than the 150 but with the losses they'll be probably a hundred plus for the year. So the which -- what your saying is the budget. Did the budget has accounted for 15100 Oscars and redundant eleventh when you in addition to a hundred -- officers so. The 400 officers that we plot that's 149 dollars and and and in addition if you all recall twenty years ago when your contract was. -- -- you know they -- supposed to allocated a certain portion of their profits for. You know PP the fire department in -- and sanitation services. How to lose track -- How does that money go to the state and not come back to your -- what happened at that. Where they want him to walk I went out our records and it went out and got three point six negotiate three point six million dollars of that money. But all that money that is do all those years a contract is a contract that is a legal document how this state. Keep us from having money. Have you ever heard an answer to that that we just got the date we just got that three point six million as of April 1. Now what was Jay's gonna come talk to the community. That would be on July 31. At the World War II museum at the cantina brand so anyone that wants to listen to as well. And you know talk about this issue about the police. And other community issues that we. It's so clear men and five years ago in 20102010. In this city -- authorized. 1766. It's not sworn officers -- and include civilians is about 200 civilians so. We'll talk about fifteen some thin as five years ago today it's 1488. A -- about 12160. Offices. As will no -- 11100. And who's number two wanna believe. And so I think that's what that's saying is would this obviously cut could be used for over time. For the police in the note chief selfish wants to do without. Within some more restraint he's got. -- them. We know that but we don't know that that's not the right number for the future so. I think what we're looking hopeful and my group is looking awful we go to three face on the -- There's. Called -- very very long term problem. Because accomplished a way out of this in the end but we need some things you know long term -- to change local church to help people. With improved this situation so these and it will turn to a life of crime. What do you mean and it's more -- clown that builds the ranks -- LPD hoped to 16100 which everybody agrees is the his Sonoma and so a lot of officers were critical high yeah. -- -- sure ought to we have no choice -- -- day this with. Providing additional offices through use in this the details system and decide this thing with trying to during the quarter. His job is to bound aid it's not the final solution now. But and I think we all three of -- -- plums is not sufficient just to say. We have a long long long term problem. I have this I have a plan for. Crime against the law. So let's enforce. That curfew we have one of the toughest curfews and yes I do dates. We should be enforcing that. And that will keep some of these boats off the street and keep marchers say as well as our residents as well as our police officer that takes men. -- -- That takes compound in on him to become parents point millennia. And we got 22000. Businesses. Every day on outrage. In the history and music and record the history the population of about 101000. They go on as many as the -- workers. With Tom -- you know population over 40000. Every day every day. To sixty in many very much -- in many -- how many officers to we have in the eighth district we have a hundred. And that that's over three shifts three hitters who -- -- seven days a week so you have thirty officers summoned the desk. Thirty off any given eight hour shift in Brooklyn army you've got people on time off you've got people. So I mean it could be more and it's certainly can be -- has been less than that to -- there's this huge wanting could be -- could be harmful in patrol comes. It is pretty scary when we had. To assign officers. On -- street during the urban street shooting. Just -- last Tuesday in fair. -- In order to get to a point where the numbers are so small. That -- it is there's not much you can do there's no substitute for bodies and they just -- in a PV system and have the manpower to do certain things. I want these everybody just stay with us because these four people are on a roll and and they're coming up with plans of their having meetings and it's about enough -- enough. We're gonna do it right we are city that can do -- right. And we should stay with this I'm Angela under the W -- we're talking citizen power and we are. I'm sitting in front of four people from different areas of the city who have come together who are literally saying. As a community we must come to grips that we are not paying the police enough. We're not taking care of them. And so is it any wonder that in fact we can't get enough people to two big police officers and equally how that we stem the flow out of the department. So again that the horrible thing that happened suburban street opened her eyes for the 52 time. To say we've got to do something. And and we have to do literally is Bob census thing. On in the short term the long term we know what causes crime we know that there are social issues -- Are being addressed on some levels and we need to continue to address but we also have the short term names in the short term means our boots on the ground. So a meeting tomorrow night and start with this -- meeting tomorrow night and this isn't just for a people in the quarter. Wednesday night at saint Jude which is 400 rampart street at 5 o'clock. The councilwoman -- ramseys and be there. But it is going to be there asking everybody to Wear blue. Where blue support our blue and let's talk. Reality. We can't pay someone 33000 or whatever it is and expect them to live in this community. And not have to work a second job. And have a lot. That's correct I mean we want officers gonna have a career here in New Orleans we want them not for a year or two years. Or to move to Jefferson Parish or become state police -- as of tomorrow night is meeting really is about how outrage is mounting. And it exists but action -- -- I mean this is real but tomorrow night's meeting that's message we're trying to -- tomorrow. And we've -- for people to help support us and say we want some change here we want you know. Fair pay for officers we want them to start right. We want them a lot of things change but. We need change and we need people to to express this change tomorrow. And I think that that's also being portrayed in social media as well because if you notice if you read the blogs about this particular issue everyone has pretty much saying the same thing. Pay the officers'. Pay -- -- -- is going to come here and work for 33000 a year and take a ball. We have one down and that hasn't been hired in four months and he -- heat applied for months ago is coming in from Connecticut. Trying to become an and a PD officer but hasn't heard from cell service and for much. Civil service is is a show we're going to do and it is truly an hour unto itself -- and I know that they're trying to to make some changes. I just and that is a problem is that somebody that really wants to be there in a better hitting that wall. Mean that's shooting ourselves of it but let us focus on the reality of there are paying him 3334 to start out but say the entry salary was forty. And then the after the first year fifty. And then after that negotiable 5560. But let's say that if somebody put the numbers together. That we would figure out what is it gonna take in the city budget to accommodate that. How realistic is it. Right now we know we owe everybody -- firefighters finally of these two consent decree but let's look at it if we have to shift priorities. And you have hit on the head Caron. When you talk about where's the money from the federal and state. They take so many of arm so much of our money from our sales tax from our. That the tax on hotel motel. Why are we getting a couple of pennies back on the back. Because that is low hanging fruit. Rather than tax everybody and other five medals on their property taxes because we're taxpayers. And you know everyone's kind of apathetic -- they going after that money from the a contract's a contract. You can't break the contract and if you're an illegal go room. -- This is the passion we need to hear. We're gonna have to take another break but believe me these people are done and stay with us let's go to the -- -- again we're talking citizen power with Ken Karen. Parents up go Bob Sims and cash Sharif -- I really appreciate jewel being here you are people who were just saying. We've got to take charge here with that makes some changes. Let's go to our caller can she does ask the question many are asking Mary. Yet like to mention marketing but the that he hit it -- -- found me in balancing the right amount of that decrease in him might have been. I don't Kennedy would get on on the Kennedy would get on I think he's -- out that he did not. But is that enough pension money that it would but does this on that and then the citizens -- -- now about the -- -- -- light. So where. That probably it the way I -- and what -- gonna say that -- -- -- that they need debate. Home that Milledge is probably what the gonna say what the way it's that kind of fun that increased but he -- the flooding in the question advocates like and now. Why he would police can't -- it in our. With -- that the kids. That you know with the act. -- what I don't know what that. It's not detail work -- -- forty hour week bringing an end so you have the 55 hour week. May be a little more reasonable in the 6070 hour right. I give them maximum amount we can't do more than eighteen are planning out. Say they let the -- when you can do. Mary what we had talked and let these people talk but where's the money coming from there a couple things we haven't talked about and and nobody wants to pay more to practice for tax tax tax we get that. We have to look at that ago. But I think also in Stacy head is taking this bull by the horn. Looking at only something like 25% of people in Orleans parish pay taxes. There's something the matter with that so maybe we need to look at. That then as we were talking with Karen we need to look at money that the state maple costs. That is money coming. So these these are things that with enough study the money could be there. Okay am lining you'll -- The just -- -- AM. I think the number is 24 dollars and paid detail work it in an opposite could do them and -- -- that's something that's actually right twice for. Over time and 24 pretty bullet details. So they can work 48 hours. Over the forty bowls with the forty. So they can work eighty hours a week that put yourself that's -- the issues. And you wake up for the next week and it's another eighty hour week. -- The reason for that is they need to work those hours to make eleven because the pay as pork. The actual hourly pay does not there's not enough to live on I mean especially beginning asserting these -- and 33000 -- a year. I mean they're looking at the the details they're looking at the over time if there is overtime remembrance was not a lot of over commentary now. And in order to pay the bills. So the relying on. Bob if we paid our people write to begin -- they wouldn't have to look at the toe work and and you know the good work and be more rested for regular hours -- As citizens do you think that you can get enough citizens support to have this come up before City Hall. Both the mayor and the council and say look let's let's talk about the -- Latin immediately take a look at the blogs seem. You look at social media and the social media campaign is just crazy I mean if you. Any kind of. Event that happens when it comes down to the police department or. Pay Peter Bergen street shooting I mean -- take a look at what people are saying and they are not blaming the police there blaming. When Andrew and our City Council. I mean that's what it amounts to or should we be blaming ourselves in a sense of European apathetic. Apathetic element don't misunderstand me I know social media is big and it's huge but -- words. Well imagine work site you have an uprising that's an uprising when they show up right. It's like people little text all day but they -- -- like a phone call but I mean this is an uprising and it's not just happening. Here local -- social media does is it takes it. When you share it and it goes to Russia. Like urban street shooting went to Russian times it appeared on Russian times. It went to mail online which is a European news you know -- -- that station online. So you know this just -- spread through outs in the country throughout the world. So this isn't just about New Orleans and people getting mad about what's happening in New Orleans this is this is an international city. I -- and leave Angela though that you're correct -- that the pressure. He's gonna have to come and social media is -- after conference of people within and city and because we're the voters. But here we talked about your caller on the caller called in about. You know what about higher Milledge is well money's gonna have to come somewhere home or they're gonna have to be a change of priorities at City Hall. I mean we don't like all of us throughout this city the bad streets but I think we take bumpy roads over. Armed robberies over attempted murders over multiple burglaries on I don't know so some hard decisions have to be made but I think we get out to a public safety. Trumps everything else we're at this point where City Hall has to realize that if you don't want to tax base to go down -- you don't want terrorists to stay home. Do -- absolutely let's go to George George. -- -- went and got nobody -- action. Is the budget. Dorms budget how much of that goes -- police and fire are very numerous -- that -- -- It's a moral accountability. Accountability. On the government spending the money. Podium. To put your panel PD this year is 135. Million. That's a big piece out of this engine uses 500. Oh I think public police and fire at the top -- so big piece of the but there's a big difference between budget an actual spent. And that's what we're trying to get the message out because. From the budgeted that pop talked about as a heartened 35 million. I mean there there is no great -- were down about 4500 officers that's a great savings -- where is that money going it's going back into the general fund summer and that's what we were we're asking right here right now what's happening to this money and where's it going we wanted to go back to the police department get officers. And get overtime. And it's not gone and their vehicles because when you talked -- those guys their vehicles when they have an accident. They have to manage it themselves. They have to fix our own cars if you ever been up to the reins to these range with. It's pathetic it's I mean you have to shoot over we need. -- and and you know it's not those things of people don't think and they don't say some of the facilities that are in bad shape and -- -- care is responsible -- -- to paper and copy paper. -- -- Because he cares. And probably that's just don't want to call it a public as well. And everybody in -- from a different -- in New Orleans but we live in part in these neighborhoods -- demos -- time and I'm from -- -- any rectangle and -- from the triangle but. We we just see things happening. And and the cops do the best they can but to. There's talk you know people I went to meetings several weeks ago it -- -- a new restaurant. In our neighborhood. And and I saw for the first time of people mainly in his sixties and over just terror shear terror. As a retired law enforcement officer with a 31 plus year career. What can I tell me you know keep the lights on outside. Puts a crime cameras do things like that could no substitute for the police from -- we need to bring back. Where. People feel safe in this city and has certainly foolish behavior will be. Will not be rewarded but people just you know. Recruiting the various areas are -- wanna feel safe. And not just to tour the people that live here every day I just -- -- on to what cash is saying about them you people -- in the streets army. With that the state police for roughly a couple of weeks. Mary in the merry. Both from the rectangle triangle we've had a -- are largely mum stay please. Time is almost nonexistent wide because we boots on the grown they -- seen. And this is exactly what we're saying was we need police you know to be out in and that aren't on the street right now we don't have the officers. In the entire -- -- department down -- third and this is a city -- problem it's not just in the French court of America and it's everywhere it's mid city it's uptown it was literally. We're gonna take another break stay with the second one we'll be right well we are back with our four activists are citizens activists who are. Hoping that they can rally the public in two looking at what we're paying our police and and how we're treating our police sprinkling and resolving some of the issues we talked about for the last several months let's go to David David you have a thought. Yeah. Are so what are you get a few minutes ago mentioned that. -- -- said that the -- that people wouldn't. Wouldn't mind out there in -- And more for the police and that -- they'd rather of the police should have better roads and things like that. And you know -- little bit threatened you know on the there anymore apart when parked by neighbors for -- former neighbors Modesto our many friends in -- -- On the part of -- you know they feel the opposite they -- like. No yeah well it's not supported the red and protect -- Is not that focused on who lived annoyance is committed. In Orange. All the people -- and move in that city and be in the war. Just jurist student balanced. They feel like when it -- be -- focus on the -- and stop for about what goes on what -- look good for -- So some of the comments that would you know that they are there are certain popular but it also by some -- that -- made that that the concern the deal would deter one. Don't want what's more money into the city of Portland venture than does the industry and residents more of that work well against. Or to the oil economies in -- than that on terrorism. But that got some element to say support people who actually invested in -- and along with the people who just come here for a weekend. You are absolutely correct but do you do you agree that there's an issue with. That for decades we have not done right by police. I agree I agree I agree that we -- that police however think -- -- put on for decades. Stationed in the mirror in that big plate and has been increased the money. -- here wants that there's. More money budgeted and that is always -- victory at the time anyway it seems to be away money to police department. We are perhaps art seven years of Katrina that. The money -- the problem has been recruitment. Even. Discussed earlier that it was said that the one not enough to recruit people. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Don't call return it government to the vicious cycle that goes around and around. Is horrifying. I mean it's not just the money -- some banks or. I don't think there -- engineering a restructuring a lot of issues not just -- in the same argument that we need more money. I love that yes thank you -- who really -- another passionate urgent that he does get it right. But yes go ahead. Well -- I think what he's saying is this true -- mean you know. It's not just the police department needs to be fixed here. But I mean the tourism is really very important to -- because it's the engine that drives the city. So -- that hopefully will come better roads and better infrastructure and things like that. We got to fix some you know what what's the big thing right now. And then hopefully we can hold our our political people accountable and get the streets fixing get polite fix some. I mean it took six months to get some street lights -- from my house for instance. Wouldn't want to live in the dark but you know we've got to start somewhere and I like this -- that was just called and he's very passionate when he gets that -- that I mean. We're -- like that but genetic thing too is when you fix the police department and you fix the pay for the police department not only does it help with terrorism but it also helped -- president had. Because we out we live here. You know and we will benefit the outcry is from residents it's not from the tourists right exactly it's those of us who live here yet and the question -- Safety needs to be the number one priority in this city. If we get it seems like grow office but safety needs to be the number one priority because without safety you're not gonna have growth. And how many dead kids does it take. For safety to become the number one priority in the city like that how many times have we ask that that. I mean Mother's Day shooting them in my god all of these children on. Birthday parties it's outrageous well it's about time put the list exactly where it goes when you point one finger there story that point back. You know the one thing that the solar product was about the budget yes there's budgets have been created but the reality is is. These budgets again 15100 officers over the years budgeted there's fourteen -- I'm sorry 11100 officers. It is a big difference that money is going right back into the general fund and where's it going. And I understand the administration. Inherited some serious issues here serious we've got to get this whole thing that's. Well I I love which you also said let's fight up in Baton Rouge as well that's right that we have a minus alone that's that's correct. We're very grateful for these guys have come down -- patrolling to Labor Day state police but it's not enough. It is not enough. So again your meeting is tomorrow night at saint -- 5 PM on -- this one on the 31 at the World War II museum at 6 PM. And the same also that night one of the verb and Orleans ballroom at 6 PM. Citizen action let your voices be heard stay with -- everyone thank you -- thank you.

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