Fired in New Orleans, Cops Get Badges and Guns Elsewhere

At least 53 officers who were fired or pushed out of police jobs in New Orleans over the past decade have landed jobs in other law enforcement agencies, including many smaller police departments in nearby parishes and colleges.

Dozens of officers forced out of the New Orleans Police Department over the past decade for misconduct have been hired by other police departments, reports the Washington Post. At a time of increased scrutiny of police nationwide, the ease with which fired or forced out New Orleans officers found work at new departments underscores the broader challenge that law enforcement faces to rid itself of bad apples. The New Orleans department has long been trying to reform its ranks and shed a troubled past. In the past decade, the department has fired or otherwise pushed out at least 248 officers. Of those, 53 have been hired by other police departments, according to information obtained through public records requests.

Many of those officers landed at smaller police departments in nearby parishes and colleges — some hired weeks after leaving New Orleans. While records show that some have had no complaints of misconduct since joining new departments, others have been fired again. Records show that many of the 53 officers hired by other departments disclosed their troubled departures from New Orleans. About half of the 53 had been fired, and the rest resigned in lieu of being fired or quit while under investigation. Some of the 248 officers were fired or forced out in New Orleans after abandoning their posts in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina struck the city. Others were fired or pushed out in the aftermath of a 2011 Department of Justice civil rights investigation, which concluded that officers routinely used unnecessary force and made unlawful arrests. City leaders instituted reforms, adding to an exodus of officers.