One of new NOPD Chief Ronal Serpas' more successful ideas in Nashville was his "Mission One" program in which every cop, regardless of rank, had to spend at least one weekend day a month on patrol in a district or precinct. "It put more people on the street," Serpas told Gambit in a recent interview. "The second thing it did is it started to break down these barriers that create themselves in very stoic organizations like Nashville was — not unlike New Orleans was in the '80s, where you had this almost mystic like Detective Bureau that had very little to no interaction with the officers in the field. So what Mission One did is it brought those people together, and they worked together one day a month ... me on down." Serpas says the program also gave district supervisors flexibility to "test drive" rank-and-file cops in different assignments, to get them out of the routine of responding to radio calls and into other areas of police work.
So, does that mean Mission One will come to New Orleans?
"I just don't know how we're all situated yet," Serpas says. It will depend on how NOPD is reorganized — "how many people are going to be left at headquarters and how many are going to be able to be bled into that kind of a process." — Clancy DuBos