Wednesday, January 10, 2007

No Snark, No Sarcasm

Though I'm sorely tempted, I'll just make a couple of suggestions.

First suggestion:

If you want snark, listen to Rob Couhig and you'll have no trouble providing your own. This takes a little scrolling and clicking, click on WRNO audio on demand, scroll down to:
Rob & Bo - 7a to 8a - 1/10/07
Former NOPD chief Richard Pennington's reaction to Mayor Nagin's anti-crime plan.

and click listen. At about the six minute point, Couhig says that when he first went to work for the mayor, as a volunteer, he asked the mayor what the one thing he cared most about was. Couhig says that without batting an eyelash, the mayor said crime, man we've got to get this crime under control. Okay, I threw in the "man," and Couhig says that the conversation took place in June, but he also stresses that it took place at the beginning of the mayor's new term. We're supposed to believe that getting crime under control has been the mayor's top concern all along. Like I said, supply your own snark.

Second suggestion:

I know nobody cares about wonkery right now, but please consider my Tuesday night post and mominem's comment:
A called who identified himself as a NOPD officer assigned to the Quarter said he had been told the actual number of officers was more like 900. The Chief denied it and the rattles off the numbers including 100+ officers out sick, 80-100 administrative duties and 80-100 command staff.

I can't make tomorrow's march, but to anyone who does go or otherwise gets to talk to the mayor or any city council members, please ask two simple questions. First ask if they think laying off nearly 300 police department civilian employees didn't have any effect on the effectiveness of the remaining police officers. Then ask, if the city council can find $300K to hire nine new council staffers, then why the fuck can't it find $3M to rehire 90 civilian NOPD employees? Rehiring civilian employees to put those administrative officers back on the street shouldn't have any of the delays or uncertainty of recruiting and training new police officers. If nobody from the city can answer that question, the claim that the city is throwing everything it has at the crime problem is pure bullshit.

BTW, Lolis Eric Elie is wrong about one thing in an otherwise excellent column:
I don't believe that the mayor, the police superintendent and the City Council are neglecting the problem of crime. I just think they don't know what to do.

He's certainly right about the mayor and council not knowing what to do. But if this isn't neglect, what is?

I appreciate the mention, I do wish you'd clean up my typos though, if you're going to quote me:-)

I was quoting those numbers from memory, but I think I got it right but I could be off.

Your post sparked my comment, but I wasn't paying that close attention to what was being said on the radio. I'm sure WWL has the tape and it couldbe checked, if necessary.

Why not hire some of the civilian employees back and put the cops on the street. Coulds any of the cops out on sick leave do limited desk duty and send a healthy cop out on the streets? Are there retired cops who would return to duty to free up a cop for street duty?
bayoustjohndavid said...
I guess I noticed the "called" for "caller" when I first read your comment but didn't when I reread it before posting, sorry.

Your numbers seem to match the channel 4 report that said the effective size of the police force was 1100. 1400-300. If those are the official numbers that Riley admits to, the caller you mentioned was probably right about the real numbers being worse. That would match what Schroeder said that he heard when I posted on the subject in June.

I know that I'm obsessing on it, but it just seems obvious to me that people need to start being very specific with their questions. Is the mayor saying that laying off 300 NOPD employees didn't hurt the effectiveness of the NOPD, even if the laid off employees were all civilian, administrative employees? It simply had to have had some effect. So why isn't the city replacing some of those employees while it waits for its police recruitment efforts to bear fruit?

There may well be answers to those questions, but more specific questions would get somewhere. I've said before that a local government that's dealing with millions of dollars but not dealing with national security has no legitimate reason for demanding so many written FOIA requesta. Specific questions will get somewhere, expressions of anger will just be met with excuses about a natural disaster.
Control crime? Are you serious? Welcome to the history of the world!
I never said anything about controlling crime. I did quote Couhig quoting Nagin saying that controlling crime was his top priority. It doesn't seem to be his top spending priority.
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