Council approves controversial Dome security detail plan

They are essential to any big event: scores of New Orleans police officers working details to make sure things run smoothly.

On Thursday the City Council was asked by the Landrieu administration to approve a new contract with the Dome to provide as many as 100 off-duty NOPD per game at a rate of $32 an hour.

"We worked closely with SMG, and I think they're pleased with the outcome," said Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin.

But police association officials say the deal requires officers to work other, less attractive details in order to get a Superdome detail.

"I don't know if you want to call it extortion, but it's forcing them to work one other detail in order to work a Superdome detail," said PANO attorney Eric Hessler.

And many wonder why the Dome gets a special deal that allows it to use familiar officers when other entities, like the Fair Grounds, must go through the new Police Office of Secondary Employment and get detail officers on a random basis at a reduced rate.

"I think the consent decree is misguided in the way it's handling these details," said Councilwoman Susan Guidry.

The detail system was changed last year, under the consent decree, because federal authorities thought the old system lent itself to police corruption.