NOPD: Listen to the Exit Interviews.

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(ThyBlackMan.com) I love my city more than any place in the world. New Orleans is magic, wonder, the past, and the future all melded into one space. There is an energy in this place that is unlike anywhere else. I pray the people continue to fight for our home, and that we never lose site of how important it is to us, and to world around us. With that being acknowledged, I understand that nothing, no one, and no place is perfect. New Orleans has much to be improved upon…as does every other city in this world. New Orleans natives most certainly won’t sit back and watch the bashing of our home happen by those that aren’t from here, aren’t invested in the betterment of the city, or that want to strip the origins of the city away…which would me making black disappear outside of “profit”. Yet, one has to be honest about the need for crime intervention. To have a serious discussion about crime one must be willing to discuss how poverty, gentrification, and NOPD contribute to the issue. I’m not one to scream defund the police, but if I can be honest about the work my city needs to do…law enforcement needs to be honest about the work it needs to do to be efficient enough to do it’s job effectively.

New Orleans Police Department does have some amazing officers. There are men and women that really do put their life on the line everyday to not only protect the citizens but to help wherever they can. There are NOPD officers that are from New Orleans, they grew up on the same streets that they patrol and they care about what happens to their home. You know who they are because they community police. They understand the culture and the law…and they enforce it accordingly. We are so fortunate to have them, especially given their harsh work environment. I’m not talking about the streets…I’m speaking of the department itself.

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NOPD has been plagued with corruption, nepotism, and the idea that doing your job an become a game of politics and foolishness very quickly. Several officers have left NOPD and upon leaving they gave scathing exit interviews explaining why they are leaving, and why it’s difficult working for this department. It’s one thing for some to attack “liberals” for their ideas on law enforcement, but when the officers themselves speak on issues that need to be addressed, they are labeled as troublemakers and traitors.

The department needs to humble itself and take a hard look at what’s happening. Everyone isn’t lying or a disgruntle ex employee. The irony of the matter is pay wasn’t the primary reason officers left. When multiple officers complain of lack of support from superiors, unfair discipline, unfit gear, and internal politics taking precedence of doing the job the department needs to take the concerns seriously…clearly, they have not. So, meanwhile while NOPD is in disarray criminals are doing their worst and terrorizing citizens, and it happens in some areas of the city more than others. I have no idea the answer to this problem, because federal involvement hasn’t amounted to much in terms of change. We can’t afford to keep losing good officers.

Furthermore, if there is going to be a push to hire more officers there should be incentives for officers to be from New Orleans. This isn’t to say we can’t have great officers from other places, however having a relationship to the community you police makes a difference. Caring about the continuation of the culture that raised you matters. It is time for those that are in leadership to stop defending confusion, and work to seriously fix the issues that plague the department. Of course, some aren’t going to like it, but it needs to be done, and the citizens of New Orleans deserve better. It is far past time foe accountability to bring about a positive change in NOPD. Clearly corruption is not the way.

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Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

May also connect with this sister via Twitter; ChelleStJames.