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N.O. City Leaders say NOPD manpower is not the reason for Krewe of Boo route change

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 10:10 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - When it comes to parade security, the New Orleans Police Department is known for dealing with large crowds. But for the Krewe of Boo parade on Saturday, October 23, 2021, city spokesperson Beau Tidwell said security was provided by officers who signed up for a private paid detail by the Krewe of Boo.

For paid details, event organizers select the rate of pay for officers and then put out a call for volunteers.

“Not a sufficient amount of officers volunteered to work that detail at the rate that was being offered, which is why you had fewer officers than they needed for the total route and why the route ultimately was shortened on Friday,” said Tidwell, who added it had nothing to do with a manpower shortage at NOPD.

“Mardi Gras parades are ‘city roll’. That means NOPD is at their full-force on the city’s dime, on the city’s clock, and they’re all out there for the duration of that. It’s different deployment mechanisms,” he said.

Tidwell said it’s a distinction with a pretty important difference. The Office of Police Secondary Employment shows the standard current fees are set in a tiered structure with a range of pricing.

Anyone who needs a detail ultimately decides which rate of pay police officers will receive, and can offer any one of the tiers 1-4 rates.

Tier one shows a $29/hour rate for an officer. Tier two is set at $34 per hour. It goes up to a tier four which is set at $68/hour.

Krewe of Boo organizer Brian Kern said that two days before the parade, he was short at least 20 officers. The detail was set at tier two level and the city suggested he bump it up to a tier three.

Kern said he felt given the magnitude of the parade, the city should have helped more.

Attorney for the Police Association of New Orleans (PANO) Eric Hessler said in the end the NOPD had to pull two officers from each district, a total of 14 officers, to work the route.

“That’s problematic I think it also speaks to the overall problem of manpower or lack there of that we’re facing right now,” said Hessler.

And still, it wasn’t enough and the entire Canal St. portion of the route was cut out in the final hours.

Tidwell said the pandemic is causing businesses and organizations to rethink how things are done, causing them to adjust and adapt. Moving forward he said they’ll have to figure out how to incentivize private police details for big events.

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