Some of the most gripping dramas to emerge in the first hours after Hurricane Katrina's devastating swipe at New Orleans were the water-borne rescues of people trapped in the inundated Lower 9th Ward. For several Harbor Police officers, that drama abruptly dissolved into a helpless nightmare when they were told to leave their posts and evacuate.Something's wrong here. New Orleans does NOT need to punish its heroes.
The shutdown of the 60-officer Harbor Police during a peak period of the city's crisis is now at the center of competing investigations.
Harbor Police Chief Robert Hecker is under internal review because he defied direct orders to shut down his squad. The supervisor who gave the order, Port of New Orleans Director of Safety and Security Cynthia Swain, is under investigation by the state attorney general's office for possible malfeasance, spokeswoman Kris Wartelle said.