NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans City Council voted in favor of a new detail ordinance for the New Orleans Police Department.
The ordinance passed 5-2, with council members Stacy Head and Cynthia Hedge Morrell voting against it. Head said she wanted to defer action on the detail ordinance because more discussions are needed with the Department of Justice, as there are questions about new amendments possibly being in conflict with the federal consent decree.
The ordinance creates an office at City Hall for coordinating the details police officers work.
The City Council was planning on a discussion about how the officers would get paid for the extra shifts and to lay out a pay scale based on rank. The Justice Department put the city on notice that amendments proposed by Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morell were in conflict with the federal consent decree.
According to The Advocate, the U.S. Justice Department sent the city attorney a warning letter that three of the proposed amendments could violate the agreed upon consent decree. In the letter, the department made the city aware that the city could be held in contempt if it violates the decree.
The three amendments proposed by Hedge-Morrell dealt with how the details are classified and would also grant exceptions to how long an officer can work a certain detail.
The amended ordinance cleared the budget committee in June.
For decades, officers were paid often in cash and directly from private groups or people.
In May 2012, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced the creation of the Office of Police Secondary Employment, which was supposed to overhaul the way the department handles paid details.
Issues relating to the new office have been on the city council agenda several times in 2013 and have also been postponed several times.