97% of NOPD survey respondents say the department has insufficient manpower

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Or to put it a bit more precisely, 97 percent of the 463 verified New Orleans Police Department employees who took Dr. Peter Scharf's job satisfaction survey disagree with the statement, "The overall department has sufficient manpower."

That's one of several teaser results Scharf's office sent in a press release today. Here's another, which is quite possibly related to that manpower issue: 80 percent of respondents said that if they could switch to another department without losing their current pay and benefits, they would.

Scharf and his staff will give a more detailed summary of the results at a press conference tomorrow afternoon.

Read the full press release, with more results from the survey, after the jump.

An executive snapshot of results from a survey of New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officers, commissioned by the Police Association of New Orleans (PANO) will be presented at a Press Conference at 4:30 pm, Wednesday July 11, 2012. The survey is designed to assess the attitudes and perceptions of employees about key issues and policies. Preliminary survey results suggest that:

• 97% of respondents disagreed with the statement, “The overall department has sufficient manpower.”

• 88% of respondents disagreed with the statement; “The policies implemented under the current Superintendent (such as Redistricting, Mission 1, Mission 2, DDACT, one officer patrols, etc.) have made the NOPD a more effective crime prevention and public safety organization”

• 73% of respondents agreed with the statement; “My immediate supervisor is fair in dealing with officers” ... as opposed to 5% that agreed with the statement; “Executive management is fair in dealing with officers”

• 23% of respondents agreed and 58% disagreed with the statement; “I look forward to coming to work every day”

Note: The same statement ("I look forward" etc.) appeared in a city-commissioned NOPD survey in 2010. Back then, 49 percent either agreed or strongly agreed; 26 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed; and 26 percent were neutral. (Presumably some of the percentages were rounded to whole numbers, explaining the 101 percent total.)


• Although 55% of respondents report being satisfied with their present assignments, 80% of respondents agreed with the statement; “If I could change police departments without losing seniority and/or pension and salary/benefits, I would change departments”

• 68% of respondents reported serving on an off-duty detail. Of those, 69% agreed with the statement;
“If I lost my ability to serve on my regular detail or pick up new details, I would leave the NOPD”

Note two: See the recently announced Office of Police Secondary Employment for context.

463 NOPD officers’ responses were analyzed using questions derived from police professionals, prior surveys, and a review of departmental issues and policies. A number of factors create a context for this survey. An ascending homicide rate (highest in the US at 59/100,000 persons), high rates of attrition (65 officers have left NOPD to date in 2012), and an impending Federal consent decree have raised public concerns about the New Orleans Police Department. The 25 page snapshot will be presented at the conference; opportunity for discussion and follow-up interviews will be provided.

Update: Statement from NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas on the preliminary results.

"Surveys designed by PANO predictably produce negative results. This department struggles with budgetary limitations. As Superintendent, I, too, wish we had the funding for more officers, a new fleet and better district stations. And I agree: These are difficult times. This is why I want to thank the employees who are focused on being positive, as well as patient. Major crimes are trending downward, and it's because our employees are working hard and have an unwavering dedication to the people of New Orleans. Together, we are turning this department around.”

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