By: Allen Johnson
New Orleans Police Chief Warren Riley says NOPD has completed 60 percent of 371 "tasks" required by the Brown Plan, a highly touted community policing strategy the department unveiled last July to restore public confidence. The remaining 40 percent will take longer because more money, personnel and facilities are needed, Riley says, adding, "Once we get up to our full strength in personnel and technology, those things will be implemented." The chief says he will provide more details on the Brown Plan in the coming weeks. Expansion of neighborhood foot patrols easily the most popular component of community policing will have to wait until NOPD can hire more officers. NOPD is down some 300 cops from a pre-Katrina "high" of 1,741 officers. Thanks to pay raises and bonuses for specialized training and educational advancement, NOPD is no longer hemorrhaging cops. Named for private consultant Lee Brown, the plan cost roughly $225,000, which the private New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation paid. "The plan is comprehensive in that it provides recommendations for improvement in all areas of operations," says Heidi Unter, the foundation's chief operating officer. Riley announced the study shortly after thousands of crime-weary citizens marched on City Hall on Jan. 11, 2007.