Report: NOLA Mayor’s Security Outnumbered Entire NOPD District
A new report from WVUE-TV in New Orleans suggests there may be another controversy brewing for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
This is particular controversy appears to be another issue with the Mayor and the New Orleans Police Department. Recently, Mayor Cantrell has been linked to an alleged affair with a member of her police security. These allegations came to light in court documents filed by the officer's wife.
But in this new report, the question is more about the Mayor's professional conduct, and not personal conduct.
According to WVUE-TV's report, city records show that Mayor Cantrell's personal security detail was actually larger than the NOPD force patrolling entire districts of the city. WVUE-TV says "Cantrell had more officers assigned to protect her than were on patrol for a 12-hour stretch in the NOPD’s Sixth District, which includes Central City, the Irish Channel and the Garden District."
Their investigation shows that at multiple points, Cantrerll's personal detail had 4 officers at a time, who all logged long hours. Gregory Joseph, Cantrell’s Director of Communications, issued a statement in response to WVUE's report, which confirmed the size of Cantrell's security force.
However, Joseph's statement went beyond confirming the report of Cantrell's security detail. He took aim at those who question the numbers::
“Those who purport themselves to be in law enforcement but who rather score cheap and meaningless political points at the expense of the safety and well-being of the people of the City of New Orleans should exercise their right to remain silent.”
WVUE-TV took that quote to Dillard University political analyst Dr. Robert Collins. After reading the statement, Dr. Collins said he was surprised, and added:
“What’s silly about it is that a director of communications, who should understand the First Amendment and the fact that everybody has the right to speak their mind, would state that people should exercise their right to remain silent. I mean, he should know that any public official is fair game for analysis. So, surprising statement for him, that he doesn’t understand the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States....This is just, basically, it’s an attack statement. It doesn’t really include any substantive information to make a case that the story was incorrect. It doesn’t dispute any of the facts in the story.”
Dr. Collins went on to question why the Mayor's office is requiring this type of security detail, while at the same time the Mayor is posting videos on social media showing her walking alone in the city. Collins added that he feels that this is an example of the Mayor's office not understanding the feelings of the city residents when it comes to the manpower issues inside the NOPD.
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