One of most trying months in memory for the New Orleans Police Department, darkened by the deaths of officers and loved ones, was somewhat brightened Friday when Superintendent Michael Harrison promoted 26 officers to new supervisory posts.
Eighteen officers were promoted to lieutenant and eight more to sergeant in a ceremony at the NOPD’s new temporary training academy on the University of New Orleans campus.
The department said the officers will serve in districts throughout the city.
“These new leaders represent some of the best men and women that the NOPD has to offer, and we will provide them with a comprehensive training curriculum to equip them with the tools and resources they need to be successful,” Harrison said in a statement.
The promotion ceremony came three months after federal consent decree monitors said in a report that the department’s supervisors frequently failed to document their oversight of ordinary beat cops.
The supervisors’ jobs have been complicated by the terms of that 2012 consent agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, which requires extensive documentation of NOPD reform efforts.
All of the newly promoted officers will receive extensive training on supervision, the department said.
Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Donovan Livaccari congratulated the promoted officers, calling them “all deserving of the promotions.”
But he said the advancements would be unnecessarily “mired in controversy” because of a rule change — approved last year by the Civil Service Commission at the request of Mayor Mitch Landrieu — that gave city supervisors greater flexibility in hiring, evaluating, promoting and rewarding employees. It also gave employees who believe they have been wrongly denied a promotion the ability to challenge that decision to the city’s personnel director and ultimately the Civil Service Commission itself.