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New Orleans Police Department

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The police roles have historically indicated that as societies advanced in complexity and diversity, policing systems that are based on individual responsibility and self policing worsened. The public has abandoned its law enforcement and peacekeeping role and has greatly relied on the officers to take such responsibility, which was usually a public obligation. Since the 1990s, the police roles have emerged and it is one which is exemplified by change and expansion.

The New Orleans police department is an organ in the police force with the sole responsibility of enforcing the law in New Orleans, Louisiana. Its jurisdiction covers all of Orleans parish (The New Orleans Police). An investigation on the conduct of the police in the New Orleans police department was conducted by the justice department with the support of the mayor Mitch Landrieu, and the police superintended Ronal Serpas. The agents who carried out the investigation worked with police leadership and rank-and-file officers. This helped them manage to reach out to the community leaders to help in their investigation.

The investigation took ten months following years of controversy that surrounded the alleged civilian killings by the police in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The findings of the report were to form the basis of negotiations between federal and local officials. This led to a consent decree which was a blueprint for systematic reforms that would be enforced by a federal judge.

The investigation found that the police department was disreputable for excessive use of force, unnecessary stops, searches and arrests and discriminatory policing. The ratio of blacks to whites arrested was 16:1 (Wayne, 2005). Ethnicity and gender bias was also evident where they failed to investigate cases on domestic violence and rape, sexual discrimination where they were unjust to gays and lesbians (The United States Department of Justice, 2002). It was found that the police were covering their own investigations for any crimes they committed.

However, the investigation carried out was inaccurate. For instance, the department never found a policy violation in any officer involved in shooting for the last six years while, in the real case, federal officials found that the violations had clearly occurred. The media reports portray the New Orleans police department as severely dysfunctional in that it uses excessive force on civilians, failed to investigate serious crimes and had an inadequate system of accountability thus making people lose confidence in the police force.

The report findings gave a negative reputation both to the municipality and the mayor. It depicted the municipality as liable for failing, to train its law enforcers adequately thus causing constitutional harm i.e. inadequate disciplinary measures, officers stress management programs and fault screening of new officers. In most cases, police officers become brutal to civilians due to the lack of motivation at the place of work or poor, working conditions. It is the responsibility of the mayor to ensure all employees working in his municipality get motivation and carry out their duties as expected.

The mayor’s role also involved ensuring civilian’s protection and has confidence in the police force serving in his municipality. In the case of the New Orleans police, the civilians have already lost confidence in the police force. This has made them feel insecure and has portrayed the municipality administration as ineffective as they do not meet the people’s security needs.

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