1. What is the Mid-City Security District?
The MCSD was created by law to provide security in Mid-City above and beyond that which would normally be provided by the City of New Orleans Department of Police. It was formed and approved by the voters of Mid-City in 2008, and renewed for 5 years in 2014. It is a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana, not the City of New Orleans, under State Statute LSA-R.S. 33:9091.14§9091.14 Mid-City Security District.
2. How is the MCSD structured?
The MCSD is run by a five-member board appointed according to the statute. The day-to-day security operations of the MCSD are run by the commander of the MCSD. He is a veteran NOPD officer who works out of the 1st Police District station. His responsibilities include recruiting the NOPD patrol officers assigned to the MCSD, establishing patrol patterns and schedules, monitoring officers activities, maintaining communications with NOPD on special problem areas as they develop, handling all of the paperwork, reporting to the board, and managing the MCSD’s separate fleet of patrol cars. He is instrumental in guiding the direction of the Security District.
3. What are the responsibilities of the officers in the MCSD?
The officer are fully commissioned, post certified, law enforcement officers. The NOPD officers assigned to the MCSD are working overtime shifts. They have the same authority and responsibilities as when working their regular NOPD shifts. Their primary responsibilities are to patrol within the boundaries of the MCSD and respond to emergency calls. The patrol cars carry all of the same equipment as the NOPD cars. The officers monitor emergency dispatches and radio traffic from both 1st and 3rd District police stations. The officers make both routine and requested checks of businesses and residences.
4. Do the officers work regularly assigned shifts?
Typically they are assigned regular, weekly shifts.
5. Do they work regular assigned areas?
In many cases, yes, so they become very familiar with Mid-City. While officers normally patrol in either the 1st or 3rd District areas of Mid-City, the commander may move them around in those zones as needed to increase the presence in areas where criminal activity has been reported or is suspected based on information from the NOPD. At least one officer is present in each NOPD Zone in the district. A map of the district is available on the MCSD website.
6. What hours do the MCSD officers work?
Officers are on patrol 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Typically there are three to five officers on patrol working 4 or 8 hour shifts.
7. Do they work regular routes?
No. It would be too easy for criminals to track their movements and wait until the officer leaves the area. This also serves as a protection for the officers from those who may intend to do them harm.
8. Do they perform investigations?
No. Investigations are the responsibility of the respective NOPD District Investigations Unit (DIU) or specialty investigative units of the NOPD.
9. Do they answer emergency calls for service?
Yes. They respond to emergency calls and are often the first ones on the scene for a 911 call. They back up NOPD officers as needed. Once an incident is under control by the 1st or 3rd District officers, the officers assigned to the MCSD return to their assigned patrol activities.
10. What are the responsibilities of the MCSD board?
The MCSD board sets the budget, provides compliance with state statutes, monitors compliance with the City of New Orleans Co-operative Endeavor Agreement, files reports with the Secretary of State, State Ethics Committee, City of New Orleans, Office of Inspector General and other governmental agencies, responds to press and citizen inquiries, provides general statistics about the number and types of crimes in the District, manages the budget, holds monthly public meetings, attends NONPACC, COMSTAT and association meetings and other safety oriented presentations by the City or the NOPD, and in general makes sure the parcel fees are appropriately utilized.
11. Are their limitations of the MCSD?
The board is not empowered to set policy for the NOPD, oversee the officers, or exercise control over their activities. The board is not authorized to disseminate information on active NOPD investigations. However, regular meetings are held with the commander of the MCSD to address concerns about crime, where the officers are deployed, and to make certain the officers have the resources needed to serve effectively the businesses and residents of the MCSD.
12. What is the annual budget of the MCSD?
The 2016 MCSD budget is $997,500.00. As with all of the board meetings, the public is invited to the meeting that sets the budget. This meeting occurs annually in September or October. Formal published notice is required and distributed in various venues. The commissioners are not paid for their time or given funds to attend the meetings. On rare occasions they are reimbursed for out of pocket expenses. For example in 2014 the total reimbursement to commissioners was $99.00.
13. How much of the budget is expended on security?
Slightly over 90% is spent on patrol and security services such as security lights and a surveillance camera program sponsored by the MCSD which is managed by the MCNO. Other costs are for such items as insurance, accounting, legal fees, and other operating expenses. Audited financial statements are posted on the website.
14. When and where does the board meet?
The board meets on the third Thursday of every month at 6:30PM at First NBC Bank, 4130 Canal Street. Changes, if any, in meeting times or location are posted on the web site.
15. Are the meetings open to the public?
16. How can we get questions about the MCSD answered or reach out to the commissioners?
The website has general information about the MCSD. There is a link on the website to send e-mails to the commissioners www.midcitysecuritydistrict.org. Inquiries are typically answered the same business day.
Why doesn’t the MCSD have a phone number I can call?
Urgent calls should go to 911 and non-emergency calls to 821-2222. Maintaining a separate MCSD phone line could result in important calls being delayed or misdirected. Questions about the MCSD and routine items can be handled efficiently by e-mail via the website.
17. I am having a special event in Mid City. Can I arrange for a MCSD officer to provide security?
No. The officers are not employed by MCSD. Therefore they are precluded from staying in one spot for a private event. If you want an NOPD officer on site throughout the event, please contact the Office of Police Secondary Employment at www.nola.gov/opse or call (504) 658-8747. However you can send an e-mail to the MCSD via the website and the MCSD commander will be notified. If an officer is available he will schedule a patrol near the event in conjunction with regular patrol duties
18. Where can we get reports about criminal activity in our neighborhood?
Go to www.nola.gov. In the upper right hand corner of the home screen click on “get email updates.” Select the type of reports you are interested in receiving. You can also obtain, for a fee, certain incident reports at www.nola.gov/nopd/citizen-services/records/. Click on “Request For Initial Police Report.” Specific information about crimes must be requested through the Public Information Office (PIO) of the NOPD. Send an e-mail to NOPDPRR@nola.gov. Updates on criminal activity and police activity are discussed in general at the weekly 1st and 3rd District COMSTAT meetings at the respective station houses every Tuesday at 1:00 PM and at the NONPACC meetings on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM.
19. I have seen several MCSD vehicles at the 1st District station. Why aren’t they being used?
MCSD operates out of the 1st District station. We have 6 marked and one unmarked police vehicle. There are occasions, such as change of shift, when all the vehicles might be at the station. They cannot be run 24 hours a day. They need rest, maintenance, restocking of police forms, minor repairs, and so forth. There is a back up vehicle if one needs to be taken to a shop for repairs.
20. I have seen MCSD vehicles out of the district. Why is that?
The officers need to travel from the 1st district station to the MCSD district. Occasionally a suspicious person may be followed from the district for a short distance out of the area until regular the NOPD in that District can take over. All NOPD officers are deployed anywhere in the city when a significant violent activity is in progress and particularly when a police officer is in danger. The cars occasionally are taken to maintenance or repair facilities which may be out of the area.
21. Can MCSD patrol officers forward information via text or other means to residents?
No. NOPD policy precludes officers from publically posting anything having to do with their police activities. The approved protocol is officers submit their report to their immediate supervisor. The supervisor must approve the report, which sometimes needs clarification of the event. Once approved the supervisor sends the report to the appropriate division, either in their District or NOPD headquarters. The Public Information Officer is authorized to send information to the general public. If the information requested is part of an ongoing investigation it is unlikely any specific information will be disseminated. The MCSD must abide by this protocol/policy.
22. Why was the MCSD cell phone disconnected?
The primary reason is a continued, inappropriate use of the cell phone. Many were calling the cell phone when they should have called 9-1-1. Precious time was being wasted creating a potentially dangerous situation. Time spent responding to non-police matters distracted officers and the commander of the District from law enforcement responsibilities. The greatest majority of the calls were for non-police, Quality of Life issues which can be resolved by calling 3-1-1. The 3-1-1 system was not available when the MCSD was established. 3-1-1 now provides a resource for many, if not all, Quality of Life concerns.
23. Does the MCSD enforce parking violations?
No. Parking regulations are enforced by the Department of Public Works. To request parking enforcement call (504) 658-8100, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information on parking regulations, fines and enforcement, go to www.nola.gov/dpw/parking/parking-101/