Vultures Row: Mayor Has Priorities For Funds

Mayor Has Priorities For Funds

Mayor Ray of New Orleans has a plan.

City to Offer Free Trips to Las Vegas for Officers

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 4 - A day after two police suicides and the abrupt resignations or desertions of up to 200 police officers, defiant city officials on Sunday began offering five-day vacations - and even trips to Las Vegas - to the police, firefighters and city emergency workers and their families.

The idea of paid vacations was raised by both Mayor C. Ray Nagin and senior police officials who said that their forces were exhausted and traumatized and that the arrival of the National Guard had made way for the officers to be relieved.

"I'm very concerned about individuals who have been here, particularly since the first few days, and have been through a lot of hardship," Mr. Nagin said in an interview.

He said most of the police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers "are starting to show signs of very, very serious stress, and this is a way to give them time to reunite with their families."

Mr. Nagin, who has been demanding more federal assistance for days as his city struggled with despair, death and flooding, said he had asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for the trips but the agency said it could not. He said the city, therefore, would pay the costs.


We do understand that the officers, firemen and EMTs went through a lot. They have seen death and destruction on a scale usually reserved for war. We have to pause and ask, at a time when the city can not field half a dozen pumps, is sending the emergency services personnel and their families away for a five day paid vacation (paid, not in the traditional sense, but paid as in still getting a check but still getting your pay check and airfare, hotels, and bus fare) at this time is maybe not the best use of the city’s funds. The city has had ZERO revenue in the form of taxes in the last week, and that is likely to continue. The Mayor should really look at his priorities.


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