Sunday, January 22, 2006

Big changes in view for NO police

Sounds like a great idea, and well past time to do it. NOPD has been a festering sore for New Orleans for too long. :
"The plan would involve New Orleans and Orleans Parish, as well as Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes. The coastal region was home to roughly 1 million people when Katrina hit on Aug. 29, but now it has a population of less than 600,000. Those jurisdictions had more than 4,900 law enforcement officers before Katrina. Now they have fewer than 3,500. (Graphic: Coping after Katrina)

Beyond the structural changes, the plan would require unprecedented changes in local politics. It would take power away from municipally appointed police chiefs and publicly elected parish sheriffs, who for generations have been influential because of their power to dole out jobs and government contracts.

Such officials now say they are willing to give up some autonomy because they are facing a new political truth: Without some guarantee of security, the region's massive rebuilding effort — and its campaign to lure commerce and taxpaying residents who help pay police salaries — could be hobbled from the start."

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