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September 1st, 2008
12:20 AM ET

NOLA Cops complain about conditions at Convention Center

Jim Spellman
CNN Producer

NOLA cops sheltering at the infamous Morial convention center are calling into local talk-radio shows to complain about bare-bone conditions in the sprawling facility.

I was able to tour the facility earlier this evening as day-shift officers streamed into the convention center.

One small section occupied by NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau—their internal affairs division-had cots and food. The rest of the officers were trying to get comfortable on bare concrete floors and they weren’t happy about it.

One stack of bottled water and some MREs arrived as I was leaving.

A female officer called into WRNO’s 'Castner & Walensky' to report cockroaches and a lack of food. Police superintendent Warren Riley called into the show to defend the planning saying cots were arriving from FEMA and sandwiches are on the way.

One officer told me “Homeless shelters are better than this.”

NOPD officers, the National Guard and Fire/EMS are sleeping in the convention center while the storm passes.


Filed under: Hurricane Gustav
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Eugenia - San Francisco

    Ok so shouldn't the feeling be if we can't take care of them, why should they take care of us? If they were the ones desinated to stay shouldn't they have been completely provided for? In everything in life there is always a lesson. Our police and fire departments around the country are always undercared for, but they should not have been this time.

    September 1, 2008 at 9:56 am |
  2. Bryan F

    We all are worried for them there, but look at it this way. The Police are public servants. Hardship brings out character, in New Orleans, this character is brought about by whining.

    You don't here the military complaining about their beds and roaches in Iraq and Afghanistan! Suck it up, the military has your backs!

    September 1, 2008 at 9:50 am |
  3. matt

    They should be thankful they weren't staying there 3 years ago.....can't do the job they shouldn't wear the uniform.

    September 1, 2008 at 8:43 am |
  4. Annie Kate

    Cockroaches – UGH. And I know how big those things grow in New Orleans. They are gigantic. I feel for these people – sleeping on the floor, food, water; sounds like someone didn't plan the logistics of this one well. I hope they all stay safe and I admire them for staying to help.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 1, 2008 at 7:55 am |
  5. Daniel

    So much for 'To Protect and To Serve'. All I have to say to those officers is they should complain to the people who were basically forced to live there during Hurricane Katrina and to the families of those who died there and had no food and water at all.

    September 1, 2008 at 7:38 am |
  6. c.trent

    leave it to chief riley to have the worst plan for our hard working police officers!!!
    indicative of his lack of ability and incompitence. he should do this city a huge favor and resign asap...he cannot even put a dent in the crime here and obviously cannot even get cots for police to sleep on! even prisoners have cots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 1, 2008 at 6:13 am |
  7. Gregory

    I think these police officers fail to realize that they're not on vacation, there's a hurricane outside! There are U.S. troops overseas that sleep in worse conditions. For shame on these police officers complaining on these "bare-bone conditions."

    September 1, 2008 at 5:32 am |
  8. Adam

    It is great to see these men and woman of public safety stay on duty to help the people who may need assistance after the storm. It is also terrible that they have not been provided cots, food, and bedding for their duty. What I don't understand is that instead of raising their concerns to their superiors, they call a radio station. If you have a problem, go up the chain of command, that's what it is there for. Whoever decided to involve the public in this, is now making all the great people who work there look bad.

    September 1, 2008 at 2:57 am |
  9. Amiee

    Its sad that they dont have beds to sleep in, but my brother went over there after katrina and he didnt have a bed either. Its their job and this is what they have chose to do so they need to stand up and do what they came to do. They dont set any good examples for people by just complaining at a time like this. They are the ones people are depending on so they need to be the people that other people expect them to be. I do hope though that some way they will get beds in there for them soon.

    September 1, 2008 at 2:52 am |
  10. MikeInSugarland

    Typical NOLA cops behavior !! Unprofessional and undependable under any circumstances ! So what if you have to sleep on concrete floor and eat some MREs. At least you will have a safe roof over your head.

    Roughing it for a few days is not going to kill you. Stop whining and thinking about yourself and do your duties – that is to SERVE and PROTECT.

    September 1, 2008 at 2:39 am |
  11. mary kirk

    Well,the complaint probably has more to do with tremendous stress and fear for their family members safety. Job well done,Gov Jindal 's statewide disaster plan is working, LA is doing a heroic job to protect and serve,NOPD's backed up by parish,state and federal resources,LaNatlGuard is on ground,the civil defense with supply deployment for all the parishes is set up.FEMA ,hurry up and deliver the NOPD double mattresses with a hot bowl of RB&R it's Mon,they are worn from helping the public.Thanks NOPD,my relatives (except stubborn Harahanites)made it safe over to FL.God Bless.

    September 1, 2008 at 2:38 am |
  12. mary ann

    typical, treat the people who are staying to battle the storm the worst. BTW what did the government shleters do to prevent the animals from drowning like so many did last year,.. and what did they do with the Poice hoses and k-9s (I heard many or most died during katrina)

    September 1, 2008 at 1:57 am |
  13. Bret

    What hardship are these officers really enduring? What luxuries are they expecting? One officer commented that this place is worse than a homeless shelter. Yet, after all of this, she will be able to collect her pay and return to her family and her home, whereas the homeless don't get that opportunity.

    September 1, 2008 at 1:41 am |
  14. sarah B....durham,NC

    ShameFUL!!....i am glad that NOLA is better prepared this state of emergency....BUT sleeping bags on Concrete floors!! are they safe there on the Floor is flooding occurs??....hopefully with more awareness....this will Change!!

    Thank you and ALL of CNN for bringing the world news and informing us up to date on NOT just the wind and rain...but ALL the different aspects of this Story dispite the difficulties and sacrifices you endure!!

    September 1, 2008 at 1:41 am |
  15. Kathy

    A plea to FEMA .... take care of those who serve and protect!!

    September 1, 2008 at 1:13 am |
  16. ejv

    I lived in New Orleans and made sure when the lst opportunity came along I left. I knew I was living in a FISH BOWL. God Bless my old Friends and I hope they take care of their security.

    September 1, 2008 at 12:54 am |
  17. Richard O'Brien

    Wow, sounds like NOPD didn't learn anything from Katrina. They are waiting on cots from FEMA?

    Shouldn't all of this been in place (cots, food, etc.) BEFORE the eve of the storm??

    How come we don't hear of these same problems in Florida...

    September 1, 2008 at 12:40 am |
  18. KarenH

    It really is ridiculous to complain about NOLA police moral, attitude and police obandoning thier posts when they are treated no better then prisoners in our overcrowded county jails! Please treat these officers with some respect.

    September 1, 2008 at 12:34 am |