Friday, October 5, 2007

K-Ville Interview with an NOPD Cop

The Morning News, tag line "Black and White and Read All Over", has a very good interview by Sarah Hepola. What It Means to Miss New Orleans. The interview is with Lt Bryant Wininger, a PANO VP. My dad was a member of PANO before he died.

Anyway, this is a great interview. It's huge but well worth the read. I find it hard that an active duty cop talked this freely.

Some of the QA:

Q: New Orleans has this legacy as a corrupt town—

A: Oh yeah, we’re corrupt as hell. Jim Bernazzani, he’s the special agent in charge of the FBI in New Orleans, now he’s a guy who just speaks the truth. And he said “Look, we got corruption in Boston. The difference between Boston and New Orleans is, in Boston, they skim a little off the top and give the rest to the people. In New Orleans, they take the milk, they steal the container, then they go looking for the cow.” [laughs]

On the desertion of some officers:

Q: So you have no sympathy? I mean, even with these guys worried about their families?

A: Absolutely not. When I was packing my bags, when I was getting my wife ready to leave, she said, “You’ve done 30 years. Why are you going?” The storm was the size of the Gulf. I told her: I ain’t doing it for the mayor, I ain’t doing it for the people of New Orleans, I’m not doing it for the chiefs, I’m doing it for the guy next to me, because I might be able to save him. The guy next to me does care about me. I have no pity for the deserters. There are a lot of stories about officers who left who were probably taken care of, and if I could prove it, I would be in front of the senate committee.

I think that's how my dad would have felt (being part of the NOPD). I have a cousin who is a cop in Kenner. From talking to him, that's pretty much how he felt. He waded through water to protect and serve. He spent days not even knowing if his house still existed.

This is an interview well worth reading. It's not just a K-ville interview.


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