NEW ORLEANS, LA—Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced a major step forward in his efforts to reform the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) by creating the Office of Police Secondary Employment to be run by retired Army Lieutenant Colonel John Salomone. Salomone, who has 21 years of military service and who never served as a police officer, will report to Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin. Landrieu first announced that the City would move forward with the independent office last week in his 2012 State of the City Address.
“We have not waited on the consent decree to reform the NOPD,” said Mayor Landrieu. “I have confidence that Lieutenant Colonel Salomone will be able to set up a new, independent organization that better manages secondary employments for police officers. This will be a complete overhaul of the old paid detail system.”
Last year, Mayor Landrieu gave NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas a mandate to completely and totally overhaul the NOPD paid detail system, which he had already included in his 65-point plan for transforming the department in summer 2010. Since that time, Administration officials and the U.S. Department of Justice have been negotiating the terms of a consent decree that will guide systemic reform of the NOPD. The overhaul of the paid detail system is a key part of those reforms.
In a May 2011 report, Chief Serpas recommended “taking the management of the paid detail system out of the NOPD.” It read: “Given the apparent size and scope of paid details, it is preferable to have an independent entity manage this process to free NOPD leadership to focus exclusively on the mission of the NOPD. In its place, we recommend creating a central office to be responsible for coordinating all elements and services relating to paid details.”
Creating this independent office is a significant departure from current practice that will lead to the wholesale remaking of the paid detail system. Many police departments have a centralized office to manage details, but a new office that will coordinate all details and report to leadership outside of the police department takes it a step further.
Other elements of the consent decree that will govern this new office and secondary employment will be announced in the coming months.
NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said, “Fixing this large, failed system will not be easy, but our efforts to make remake the Department and to restore public trust will be for naught unless this system is overhauled. The changes must be lasting and sustainable and new rules and policies must be better enforced. I’m glad we are moving forward with this important reform.”
Lieutenant Colonel John Salomone has over 21 years of service in the US Army. He was commissioned into the US Army Quartermaster Corps in May 1990 upon graduating from Georgetown University. He served tours in Iraq, Cuba, Somalia, and Korea. Salomone was selected for the Advanced Civil Schooling Program in 1998 through which he earned his master’s degree from North Carolina State University in 2000.
From 2007 to 2010, Salomone served as the US exchange officer to the British Defense Logistics School as the coordinator and later commander of the school’s Command Wing, where he led career training of every Royal Logistic Corps NCO, warrant officer, lieutenant, captain, and major--a full 16% of the British Army. He taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, for 3 years. He also served as exercise director for three annual Peace Support Operations Logistics courses in Kenya, training over 120 African Union senior officers from across the continent. Before retiring in October 2011, Salomone was Chief of Plans and Operations and Deputy G3 of the 377th Theater Sustainment Command in Belle Chase, where he led sustainment and exercise planning in support of United States Southern Command and all operations supporting the command’s 6 general-officer subordinate commands and 38,600 Soldiers.
Mayor Landrieu closed, “We all know that the flawed paid detail system has failed both the NOPD, and more importantly, our citizens. But change is hard. It will take time to move from an unregulated system in which officers could broker individual paid details with businesses and replace it with a new, centralized system that has strong oversight yet still serves customers effectively. Lieutenant Colonel Salomone and our team will be working in the coming months with our NOPD officers, as well as with businesses, schools, neighborhood organizations, and other groups that currently employ paid details to ensure that this occurs smoothly.”