Mayor vs. PANO president over crime concerns - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Mayor vs. PANO president over crime concerns

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New Orleans, La. - "It doesn't surprise me.  Mike Glasser complains every day. If the sun's shining, Mike Glasser complains," says Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Landrieu is responding to a story FOX 8 News first broke about the president of the Police Association of New Orleans, Mike Glasser, sending a letter to the City Council.  He did not hold back.

In the letter, Glasser calls on the council to reorganize the NOPD and right what he calls, "a sinking ship."

"Mike Glasser's been part of a police department that has been labeled by the Department of Justice as one of the worst departments and he's part of the problem, as are some other people," says Landrieu.

"Well, I'm disappointed that the mayor chose to attack me personally, instead of addressing the problems that we outlined three months ago and the problems that I outlined [Thursday]," says Glasser.

Glasser says he represents an association made up of more than 800 NOPD officers.

Eric Hessler, PANO's attorney, says the mayor's comments send a message to everyone who wears a badge.

"There is a gag order, for lack of a better term, that is placed on these officers directly and indirectly and you can see why. If a police officer does make a statement, such as Mike Glasser, he's beaten down," says Hessler.

In the letter, Glasser points to patrol issues, manpower problems, a failing fleet and an attrition rate that Glasser says can only be described as a "blue hemorrhage."

In the letter, names are never mentioned, but it does say there's questionable leadership. It also points to dozens of shooting in less than two weeks, resulting in 10 deaths, and the fact that most of the victims were children.

"There's been no improvement. There's been no action. In fact, it's worse. The attrition rate is worse. The shootings are worse. You can measure them not by the day, but by the hour," says Glasser.

"One of the challenges I've had is getting rid of people who really want to go in a different direction. We have to begin to aggressively transform the police department. I have told people, we need better recruiting. We need better supervision and we need more resources to get that done. Mike Glasser is pretty good at telling people what to do but not very good about how to get it done," says Landrieu.

Landrieu went on to say that the city needs constructive people working with the NOPD.  "Mike Glasser was very unhappy when I changed the leadership structure in the department because he wasn't a part of it, so a lot of what you're hearing is belly aching from guys who have been passed over and they don't like the new NOPD,' says Landrieu.

"We're not making up these bodies in the street. We're not making up these shootings. We are not making up this violent crime. We're not making up the attrition. Those are facts and the fact is the plans aren't working. I think that's evident," says Glasser.

Mayor Landrieu, though, says his administration is committed to moving forward and making it work. He points to a consent decree that he says is almost complete.

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas released a statement responding to the letter sent to the council.  He says, "Murders and shootings have been trending down this year. Just recently, we have experienced a spike. We beef up security in affected areas, have made arrests and are following leads in other incidents. The community continues to work with us, and we are making progress. I came back to the NOPD as a game-changer. The Department needs major change to be successful, and change is difficult – so some fight it. I appreciate the hundreds of officers who are working with us to repair the NOPD. We will prevail. It won't be easy, but it will be worthwhile for the people of New Orleans."

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