I hit the pavement last night to listen to the Federal Consent Decree Monitor’s public presentation on the New Orleans Police Department ( NOPD ) reform effort. I was there representing urban safety advocates whose support of police ( and police unions ) is often drowned out by louder, less diplomatic voices.
The discussion was relaxed and interactive, given the small number of citizens in attendance. Whether the mayor’s event next door played a role in depleting ranks is open for debate.
The Monitor made his presentation, with particular emphasis upon NOPD’s EPIC program, which trains officers to intervene when peers or even supervisors are about to commit career-ending acts. While viewed less than enthusiastically in private by old school law enforcement, it’s touted as a national best practice pioneered by the New Orleans Police Department.
NOPD’s Use-of-Force Review Board and its Public Integrity Bureau’s Force Investigation Team were also high lighted as proof of significant progress.
After Bro Al Mims, our #1 crime fighter and mentor, opened public discussion in his usual impassioned way, I asked what can urban stakeholders do to assist the Federal Monitor in his work? He cited what I and other urban safety advocates already do: engage police district ( precinct ) leadership and share good news about strides NOPD is making under the consent decree.
As Bro Mims said, and I echo, ” it’s not always the police fault. ”
Police retention is my primary goal, as is insuring that their unions, voices of the professionally voiceless, and urban safety advocates, unlikely police supporters, have seats at the table where new policies are created.
The Monitor; his deputies and other staffers are enthusiastic and serious about reforming an institution central to quality of life and life itself for the inner city.
I’m equally serious and enthusiastic about officer retention and making sure they don’t feel depolicing or leaving are the only choices under federal oversight. As a self-described ” real life superhero for folks feeling like zeroes, ” making sure cops don’t feel like zeroes is as important as ensuring morale of urban safety advocates!
Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, RLSH. @nadraenzi on twitter.
#IUniteWithBlue Tour Creator.