NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Mayor LaToya Cantrell is taking steps to limit the time city workers spend discussing the consent decree with a big issue being public meetings organized by the feds overseeing the agreement.

Cantrell has made it known that public meetings are not a part of the consent decree and has become a drain on time and resources for city workers including members of the New Orleans Police Department.

“NOPD spends enormous amounts of human and financial resources on collecting and publicly reporting on its efforts to demonstrate continued and sustained improvements in constitutional policing. The Court has conducted many public events where NOPD personnel are tasked to prepare extensive presentations on various topics of interest and then present that information before the press. The City and NOPD have objected to these meetings because they are not part of the Consent Decree process agreed to by the City of New Orleans,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

NOPD Interim Superintendent Michelle Woodfork released a statement following the mayor’s remarks surrounding the Federal Consent Decree Public Meetings.

“The department remains committed to continuing to demonstrate compliance with the consent decree and will continue to focus its efforts on achieving that goal. After learning that some of the items on the agenda for the public meeting scheduled for Wednesday were not within the parameters of the consent decree, I offered to have NOPD participate and report on the progress being made in meeting the goals set forth in the consent decree and future efforts. Unfortunately, that offer was declined. As such, I made the decision that this meeting was not an appropriate use of police resources as its focus was not on the consent decree compliance and the path forward.”

“I would like to thank the Mayor for supporting my decision and all the men and women of this department who are dedicated public servants who continue to strive to meet the needs of the community and the consent decree requirements.”

NOPD Interim Superintendent Michelle Woodfork

The city and police department will continue to follow the consent decree but unless authorized by the mayor, no one will participate in the public meetings.

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