Who will monitor NO police reform agreement?

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - City and federal officials will hold public meetings in April to hear from candidates to monitor a court-approved agreement to reform the New Orleans Police Department.

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan approved the agreement in January despite the city's objections that it was left out of talks for a separate agreement to reform the city-funded jail, and may not be able to afford both.

The Bromwich Group, Elite Performance Assessment Consultants LLC, Hillard Heintze, OIR Group, and Sheppard Mullin were chosen from 12 applicants. They'll make their pitches April 2-3 in the Superdome's Bienville Club Lounge. Each gets 30 minutes, with 30 minutes for public comment after each presentation, according to a U.S. Justice Department news release. Comments also can be mailed, emailed or dropped off for City Attorney Richard Cortizas.

The words "Re: NOPD Consent Decree Court Monitor" should be on the envelope or used as the email subject line. For email, the address is rfcortizas(at)nola.gov.

For mail, it's City of New Orleans Attorney, City of New Orleans, Re: NOPD Consent Decree Court Monitor, 1300 Perdido St., New Orleans 70112. All written comments must arrive by noon April 8. Those arriving before March 29 will be reviewed before the hearings.

The 124-page police consent decree spells out a series of strict requirements for overhauling the department's policies and procedures for use of force, training, interrogations, searches and arrests, recruitment and supervision.

It requires all officers to get at least 24 hours of training on stops, searches and arrests; 40 hours of use-of-force training; and four hours of training on bias-free policing within a year after the agreement takes effect. Other requirements include videotaping all interrogations about suspected homicides or sexual assaults and installing video cameras and location devices in every patrol car.

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