7 senior NOPD officers file age discrimination complaint - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

7 senior NOPD officers file age discrimination complaint with EEOC

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New Orleans, La. -

A group of seven veteran NOPD officers, all with over 30 years' experience, have gone to the feds with their complaints of age discrimination.  

The officers say they could be useful in helping the NOPD deal with a myriad of problems.  Instead they say they are being forced to conduct menial tasks, such as investigating trash can thefts.

Michael Glasser is a former district and narcotics commander, but he is now relegated to a  trailer called the Administrative Support Unit, next to the stables in City Park.  And he's not alone.

"We have two officers who were former deputy chiefs, we have several district commanders, two who are presidents of labor organizations who have been ostracized and put in this position, " said Glasser, one of the complainants and president of the Police Association of New Orleans.

Glasser, five other captains and a major are some of the oldest members of the NOPD, and they have now taken their complaints of age discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Glasser said, "We filed a complaint with civil service and with EEOC that we're experiencing disparate treatment, retaliation and discrimination."

The officers say they should be in supervisory positions, not investigating domestic disturbances, stolen trash can complaints and performing other menial tasks.

"I think when you herd a number of officers, all of the same type, into a single unit and change their workload, that's different from [what] civil service has defined their job as being. It falls within the realm of retaliation, discrimination and separate treatment, " said Glasser.

The EEOC complainants include two former deputy chiefs, Major Raymond Burkart Junior and Captain Bruce Adams; two former district commanders, Glasser and Bruce Little; the presidents of both the Police Association, Glasser, and the Black Organization of Police, Simon Hargrove; and Frederick Morton who wrote the police report which identified Chief Serpas's son-in-law as a recipient of money from an illegal contract to review traffic tickets.

SUNO criminologist John Penny said, "Unfortunately it's like putting a horse out to pasture, but unfortunately we're paying for that."

In all, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being paid to some of the department's most experienced officers to do far less than their experience and qualifications call for, at a time when the city is scrambling to hire more officers and pay for a $55 million police consent decree.

"The department is severely understaffed, and we would be much better off if they were out patrolling and supervising," said Penny.

If the discrimination complaint is sustained, the city will likely have to cough up more money. To make matters worse, these former district commanders say they're under constant surveillance by cameras, constantly watching their every move.

NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden wouldn't comment on whether the cameras are watching the Administrative Support Unit.  She said, however, that such cameras are being installed at several police facilities and are there for "public, as well as officer protection."

Braden also said that the department cannot comment on the complaint, since it has only received a letter saying the allegations are forthcoming and has not seen the complaint itself.

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