With less than a month to go to the official start of LSU football, organizers are still short dozens of police officers to work traffic for the LSU football games.
According to multiple internal emails within the Baton Rouge Police Dept., they’re still 60+ officers short for the 2021-2022 football season.
In previous years, there has always been a waiting list for officers to be able to work the LSU games. This year though, it appears the department cannot get officers to sign up to work much outside their normal working hours. It was a similar problem to get BRPD officers to work July 4th.
One big difference this year is that working the football games will not count as overtime for BRPD officers. When it was overtime in the past, the hours worked would help officers in calculating their monthly retirement amount, an incentive for a job that doesn’t pay very well to begin with. Plus, every officer’s overtime rate was different depending on his/her rank and current salary.
Now though, officers must basically become LSU contract employees where they will be paid $45/hour with taxes and social security withheld. Remember, officers cannot collect social security currently thanks to the Windfall Elimination Provision. It’s also why many officers are against working under the current system saying why should they have to pay into social security when they know they cannot get it back.
If BRPD cannot come up with the needed officers, LSU Police Chief Bart Thompson said EBR Sheriff Sid Gautreaux will find other law enforcement agencies through the sheriff’s association so they will not be short on officers.
Numerous BRPD officers have anonymously told Unfiltered with Kiran why they refuse to work the LSU games as well as why officers in general are refusing to proactively police Baton Rouge at all.
“The LSU detail requires a great deal of public exposure to people who are lots of times frustrated sitting in traffic. These encounters can produce complaints at a higher level than normal, and there is zero confidence department wide that those complaints will be handled fairly by this administration. Demotions, heavy suspensions and even terminations are being handed out to a certain segment of our officers at unprecedented rates and with no obvious rationale. Who wants to expose themselves to that unnecessarily?” said an anonymous source.
“Officers are answering their calls for service, and no more than that. There are always a few exceptions, but as a rule, we are ‘standing down’ for fear of being the next target for extreme discipline. The rule is ‘Answer your calls. Do the minimum. Make no unnecessary efforts’. The fear is real. We are in fear, not of a guy with a gun, not of getting hurt while fighting some violent felon who doesn’t want to go back to jail again, instead, we are in fear of being investigated, suspended, demoted or terminated by this administration.”
The first scheduled LSU football game is Sept. 4th while the first home game is Sept. 11th.