New Orleans Police Department- Public Information Office
State Board of Review Agrees with NOPD; One-Officer Patrol Cars Safe
(April 25, 2012)- The State of Louisiana’s Board of Review has agreed with an appeal filed by the New Orleans Police Department, and ruled that the practice of one-officer patrol cars is safe, and not a valid reason for a former officer to quit his job.
Stephen Lindsey claimed that he resigned from the NOPD in June of 2011 because the Department decided to go from 2-officer patrol cars to one-officer cars, which, in his opinion, made the job too dangerous. An Administrative Law Judge sided with Lindsey last November. The NOPD appealed the ruling to the State Review Board in December, and recently learned that the Board reversed the judge’s decision.
The State Board found that Lindsey’s “testimony regarding unsafe working conditions, to a large extent, is self-serving and is contradicted by his resignation letter.” In its record of the case, the Board quotes Lindsey: “I left NOPD for a job I had in Alaska. However, things did not work out, and I had to move back down south.’”
The Board states Lindsey voluntarily quit his job to take another job out of state, and when the new job didn’t materialize, Lindsey pursued a claim for unemployment benefits against his previous employer: the NOPD. The report goes on to say: “This Board finds that to pay the Claimant benefits, under these conditions, would be against the spirit and intent of the governing statute.”
The report further states that “there is simply no evidence that the new patrol policy posed a substantially different risk of harm than the previous two-man patrol policy.” And it continued, “This Board, then, holds that the nature of the Claimant’s job was inherently dangerous, and he (Lindsey) assumed the risk when he took the job.”
“I’m pleased with the State Review Board’s decision. Many police departments across the country have implemented the practice of ‘one-officer patrol cars.’ This system allows our officers to cover more ground during their patrols and keep a better eye on neighborhoods,” said Superintendent Ronal Serpas. “Again, I want to commend the hard-working men and women of this police force for their dedication and service to the people of New Orleans.”
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Contact: Remi Braden
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