New Orleans, Feds Unveil Sweeping Police Reforms

Justice Department will watch NOLA for four years
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2012 8:48 AM CDT
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas, accompanied by Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Eric Holder, speaks to the New Orleans Police Department as the three unveil their reform plan, July 24, 2012.   (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
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(Newser) – The Justice Department and the city of New Orleans yesterday unveiled an $11 million, 492-point plan to clean up the city's notorious police department, in what Eric Holder called the most sweeping such reform the federal government had ever been involved with. For the next four years, the NOPD will be under federal oversight, as officers undergo training on use of force, searches and arrests, bias-free policing, and more, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Recording equipment will now monitor all police vehicles, and a special team will look into all instances of use of force, among many, many other reforms. The consent decree spills out of last year's incredibly damning federal investigation, and comes after intense negotiations in which the city eventually agreed to pick up the entire tab. Despite the cost, Mayor Mitch Landrieu was beaming with pride, calling change necessary given the "sheer thuggery, thievery, and callous disregard for the truth" some officers displayed after Hurricane Katrina.

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