FOP Prepares Arguments Against Domicile Rule

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cop_lightsA plan to suspend residency restrictions for NOPD officers is getting more support.

The union plans to make a plea during Thursday’s city council meeting and vote for the temporary suspension.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has more from the Fraternal Order of Police.

“Ultimately we’d like to see it completely repealed,” FOP Spokesman Raymond Burkart III said. “It has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of police work; nor does it have anything to do with if our officers are professional or not.”

The union for New Orleans police officers is preparing to make a final plea.

Thursday, city council votes on whether to suspend the residency requirement for officers and other emergency responders.

The so called domicile rule currently requires officers and first responders live in Orleans Parish.

It’s a rule that’s received widespread criticism.

“I think that police officers should be able to live in other parishes for a lot of different reasons,” resident Monica Guercia said.

Suspending the domicile rule is intended to help the Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan to recruit 150 officers within a year.

Raymond Burkart says the rule is among several hurdles hampering recruitment.

“The fact is when a person dials 911 they’re not asking the office where he or she lives, what parish the hail from, where they momma lives and certainly don’t care about their tattoos or not having tattoos,” Burkart said.

The proposed domicile ordinance would suspend residency restrictions for one year.

The goal is to recruit experienced officers currently working in other jurisdictions.

In a statement, Council President Jackie Clarkson said, “The main purpose of recruiting these “laterals” is that we have never been in more urgent need of experienced police.”

“I think you outta cast a net as wide as you can to get the best people you can; especially in the police department,” Louisiana resident John Friend said.

Burkart wants the domicile rule tossed out for good.

Until then, he says the proposed trial period is a step in the right direction.

“We again, applaud the council for trying this first step and we’ll take a first step over nothing,” Burkart said.

In addition to pushing for a permanent repeal of the domicile rule, the FOP leadership plans to continue pushing for a more reasonable tattoo policy.

The FOP plans to make its arguments in Thursday’s City Council meeting.