Mayor Landrieu predicts severe cuts if police and jail consent decrees implemented simultaneously.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a bleak assessment to the City Council about consent decrees designed to reform the police department and jail. The mayor warns that severe cutbacks are in store if both reform plans take effect in this budget year.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu outlined dire circumstances on the horizon in an emergency meeting of the New Orleans City Council Thursday morning, warning that the city will be forced to drastically cut services and furlough public safety employees if they adhere to the U.S. Department of Justice's consent decree mandating changes at the Orleans Parish jail complex.
The City of New Orleans is asking a federal court to reject a proposed reform plan for the Orleans Parish Prison — a plan that the city says it will have to pay for even though the Orleans Parish Sheriff runs the facility.
The U.S. Justice Department and Sheriff Marlin Gusman agreed to the plan in December. That upset city officials who said it will add to the city's financial burden under a separate reform plan for the New Orleans Police Department.
A community group in New Orleans says the city should not be allowed to get out of a court-backed agreement to reform the police department.
"Community United for Change" filed papers in federal court Wednesday opposing the city's move to vacate the agreement. Instead, the group says, the court should consider putting the New Orleans Police Department under U.S. Justice Department supervision.
A federal judge has granted preliminary approval of an agreement between the Justice Department and the city of New Orleans that's designed to clean up the city-funded jail.
The consent decree with Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman calls for him to provide adequate medical and mental health care and overhaul policies on use of force and rape prevention, among other reforms. U.S. District Judge Lance Africk's approval Tuesday is a step towards implementing some of those reforms.
Despite objections from the city, a federal judge has approved a sweeping agreement between the Justice Department and the city of New Orleans designed to clean up the city's troubled Police Department.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu had invited Justice Department intervention in the department soon after taking office in 2010 and had sought the agreement as a way of putting reforms into law. But throughout months of negotiations, he had expressed concerns about the potential costs.