The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), as we all well know by now, is set to oversee the operations of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) under a federal consent decree. The NOPD has been working out the details of the agreement with DOJ for a while now, quietly, and there's not a whole lot we know yet.
We have learned the following in the past month, though: NOPD has contracted a liaison, Daniel Cazenave, to work as a go-between during (and presumably after) implementation of the decree; police are now in the midst of forming community advisory boards for each district, a DOJ recommendation; and we've known for a while that whatever agreement comes out, NOPD will probably address, in one way or another, the problems identified in last year's highly critical federal investigation.
One of the recommendations in that report was that police "Develop and implement mechanisms, such as recurring community surveys, to assess recent experiences and current attitudes about NOPD among all communities throughout the City, and changes in these experiences and attitudes over time." The report noted, optimistically, that NOPD was in the process of seeking funding and preparing a request for proposals (RFP) to do just that.
Last week, that RFP was finally released. According to the document, now posted on the city's web site, the survey will measure concerns about the department, not only among residents or NOPD employees, but also "detained arrestees" and the local and federal employees involved in the consent decree negotiations themselves. The ultimate goal, reads the document, will be to "create a set of baseline measures against which the outcomes of the DOJ Civil Rights Division’s collaboration with NOPD can be assessed over the next several years." The survey, then, will form the NOPD's measure of progress under DOJ oversight.
(Read the full description after the jump)
From page 1:
City of New Orleans, Louisiana Request for Proposals
NOPD SURVEY February 22, 2012
The City of New Orleans (“City”) seeks firms and/or individuals to perform a set of surveys conducted with a representative sample of city residents, with police officers, and with persons who are arrested by the New Orleans Police Department (“NOPD”). As provided below, and incident to City Charter Section 6-308(5) and Executive Order MJL 10-05, the City requests proposals from experienced firms to provide the needed services.
On March 16, 2011, The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued the Report of its investigation into NOPD. The investigation was conducted with the full cooperation of the City and NOPD. The Report is available on the DOJ website at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/nopd.php. Based on the City’s commitment to constitutional policing, it is conducting a set of surveys to measure community experiences, opinions and perceptions about the NOPD.
From pages 6-7, "Needed Services"
The City of New Orleans seeks the professional services of an entity to create a set of baseline measures against which the outcomes of the DOJ Civil Rights Division’s collaboration with NOPD can be assessed over the next several years.
The respondent should:
(1) Develop a baseline of measures on public satisfaction with policing, attitudes among police personnel, and the quality of police-citizen encounters.
(2) Conduct surveys of City residents, police personnel, and detained arrestees.
(3) Ensure that the resident surveys are designed to capture each demographic category.
(4) Conduct the surveys in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
(5) Design the surveys to include four (4) separate sources of questions and concerns:
(a) current concerns in New Orleans, within the NOPD, among city residents, and within the teams from the City and the DOJ engaged in the current investigation;
(b) questions posed previously in earlier surveys of police officers and residents in New Orleans, especially before and after the reform period in the 1990s;
(c) questions posed in other cities under consent decrees; (d) questions and concerns assessed recently or currently in other cities across the US as well as on a national level.
(6) Include history of past performance including design, implementation, and completion of statistically-valid surveys where respondents were randomly selected and sample sizes were calculated to achieve the desired level of sampling error for a specified confidence interval. Prior experience conducting surveys for a criminal justice agency will be considered.
(7) Engage and communicate with New Orleans residents, DOJ staff, and the NOPD.
(8) Observe conversations at community meetings and meet informally with front line officers, civilian employees of the NOPD, and members of the Command Staff.
(9) Conduct individual interviews with member of the research teams involved in investigations.
(10) Review news articles and previous surveys conducted of New Orleans residents, NOPD Officers and previous local university and community collation surveys regarding the NOPD from 1990 to the present.
(11) Present preliminary and final report analysis to NOPD and DOJ.
Read the whole thing here (22 page PDF): RFP_for_NOPD_Survey_1.pdf