By Fox 8 Staff | WVUE | January 19, 2022
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – The president of the Police Association of New Orleans penned a letter addressed to the city council where he laid blame for the broken criminal justice system on the district attorney’s office, city administration, and the current police manpower issue.
In the letter, Mike Glasser airs many grievances of the union and claims District Attorney Jason Williams “has no interest in protecting the community.”
The letter centers on the manpower that continues to leak from the undermanned department and implores the City Council — particularly its newly elected members — to “be more open to listening to folks who have successfully fought crime for a living.”
“We are fighting this battle with consistently fewer police officers,” Glasser wrote. “We lost 150 officers in 2021. On the average, that’s one officer every 2 1/2 days. The NOPD is now operating at 60 percent staffing, a number which is quickly falling. … We can’t bail water fast enough out of this sinking ship.”
The letter cites several reasons for what Glasser describes as a virtual parade of officers leaving the NOPD to work for other agencies or police departments, often for lesser salaries.
Among the causes of the attrition, Glasser says, are “progressive politicians whose only true agenda is their own incumbency,” “relentless discipline for incredibly trivial infractions” investigated by the department’s Public Integrity Unit, frustration over the “significant reduction of cash bails resulting in defendants being released almost immediately after arrest,” and demoralization from having cases rejected by “a DA unwilling to prosecute.”
Citing research from the independent Metropolitan Crime Commission, a watchdog agency that reported last October that the DA’s office under Williams was refusing to prosecute 46 percent of new felony cases brought by the NOPD, Glasser said it’s not surprising to find officers and detectives seeking greater job satisfaction outside New Orleans.
“DA Williams says he prosecutes serious violent offenders, but he neglects to add that he pleas them down to much lesser offenses to avoid trial and jail time,” Glasser wrote.
“Juveniles don’t rob people at gunpoint because they’re bored, or they have no activities. They rob them because they want the things they see all over social and commercial media and they want them now. It’s much easier and more exciting to get it now at the point of a stolen Glock out of a car burglary, and there’s no penalty even if caught. So why not?
“When those who are charged with creating a safe environment (the police) can’t because there simply isn’t enough of them left … when they are relieved of the tools and support necessary to ensure public safety. Look around. How’s it working for you?”