New Orleans, LA – The president of the Police Association of New Orleans (PANO) blasted the city for its progressive political agenda and said its policies have resulted in a record-breaking crime surge.
PANO President Captain Mike Glasser shared a copy of his Jan. 18 letter to the New Orleans City Council on Facebook.
The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) is currently operating at just 60 percent of full staffing levels, and that number “is quickly falling,” Capt. Glasser wrote.
A whopping 150 police officers left the NOPD last year, with many leaving due to the “progressive politicians whose only true agenda is their own incumbency,” he noted, according to FOX News.
A record-breaking 232 homicides occurred in New Orleans in 2021, which amounts to one homicide every 38 hours, Capt. Glasser wrote.
“For the new year those numbers are even higher with 14 Homicides in the first 16 days,” he said.
Homicides jumped up 80 percent from early 2019 until the end of 2021, shootings soared by 91 percent, and carjackings surged by 164 percent, The Advocate reported.
The union leader expressed frustration over the New Orleans City Council’s ongoing struggle to accept the reality about the factors driving the violent crime surge.
The council has big plans to create a new subcommittee to find a solution to the problem, but has historically ignored the recommendations of the NOPD superintendent, Capt. Glasser said.
“From what crime and enforcement professionals with a valid stake in the outcome will they be seeking counsel?” he asked. “We were hopeful the new City Council would be more open to listening to folks who have successfully fought crime for a living. PANO would welcome an invitation to be a part of this committee.”
The captain refused to blame the city’s rising crime on the pandemic.
“No doubt the pandemic and its social impact has not helped,” he acknowledged, “but people do not routinely shoot each other because they have to wear a mask or stand 6 feet apart.”
“Anxiety certainly is a problem. But anxiety doesn’t make someone carjack someone else,” Capt. Glasser continued. “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?”
The current design of the NOPD requires at least 1,600 commissioned officers to function properly.
It is currently operating with approximately 940, and that number is “shrinking almost daily,” Capt. Glasser wrote.
“We can’t bail water fast enough out of this sinking ship,” he said.
“When those who are charged with creating a safe environment (the police) can’t because there simply isn’t enough of them left to adequately make it so. When they are relieved of the tools and support necessary to ensure public safety. Look around. How’s it working for you?” he said.
Capt. Glasser alleged that part of the “dangerous officer attrition problem” stems, in part, from policies imposed by progressive district attorneys who are “more willing to prosecute police officer than violent criminal offenders.”
NOPD made approximately 2,048 arrests for violent felonies in 2021, but Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams’ Office dismissed a whopping 1,223 during the same period of time, The Advocate reported.
“The open contempt by celebrities, mainstream media, and progressive politicians whose only true agenda is their own incumbency,” the near-immediate release of arrestees due to elimination or significant reduction of cash bails, district attorneys who refuse to prosecute, and judges’ reluctance to impose sentences for violent offenses are further contributing to the problem, the captain wrote.
NOPD officers are also disgusted with Williams, who provided a convicted cop-killer previously sentenced to life in prison with a new plea deal that allowed him to be released back into the community, Capt. Glasser told the council.
“While this is only one event, it is representative of the attitude of the DA as it relates to serving the interests of the community,” he wrote. “DA Williams has no interest in protecting the community and clearly has no interest in taking the murder of a police officer seriously.”
“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,” Capt. Glasser added.
NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson told WWLTV that criminals have become “bolder [and] more brazen…because they do not fear any consequences to their actions.”
Law enforcement officers understand the inherent risks associated with their line of work, but they also “expect and demand” elected officials “take our sacrifices” and the impact to other victims seriously, Capt. Glasser wrote.
“Why would anyone choose to risk their life protecting a community whose elected officials exacerbate the personal & professional risk with political decisions designed not to protect them or the public?” the union president asked. “The answer is, they choose not to. They chose to go to other agencies for less money.”