FOP defends lawsuit over NOPD detail system - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

FOP defends lawsuit over NOPD detail system

New Orleans, La. -

The city is calling on the two biggest police organizations to drop their challenges to the new NOPD off-duty detail system. The latest came Thursday in the form of a civil lawsuit, alleging the recently implemented reforms trample all over officers' constitutional rights.

On August 8, after many delays and a lot of heated debate, the City Council approved the new NOPD detail system - sweeping reforms required under the federal consent decree.

Thursday, the Fraternal Order of Police followed through on its threat and filed suit in Civil District Court.

"The City Council refused to listen, the administration refused to listen. Now the only way to ensure that proper constitutional law is followed is to sue the city," said Raymond Burkart, II, spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police.

The FOP lawsuit seeks to have the detail system declared unconstitutional for two main reasons. It argues the officer pay plans should have been set by the Civil Service Commission, then ratified by the council. It also argues the new Office of Police Secondary Employment in charge of overseeing the detail process violates the rights of officers who already have long-standing oral and written contracts to work off-duty details.

The FOP wants the detail office, barely up and running, put on hold.

The Police Association of New Orleans filed a similar petition last week before the Civil Service Commission.

The city calls both unnecessary challenges. In a statement to FOX 8, Deputy Mayor and CAO Andy Kopplin said, "The police unions' continued actions to stall these efforts hurts the rank-and-file police officers and interferes with the officers' ability to make secondary income. "

The FOP says it's that secondary income they're trying to protect.

The detail office being run out of City Hall was created in May of 2012 and now has five employees, but it's only coordinating a few details. The City Council approval came too late for the office to oversee this year's school details and Saints games.

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