After Hurricane Katrina, Capt. Tim Bayard helped lead the New Orleans Police Department through its darkest hours, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Later, he spoke out in frank and biting terms — including in front of the U.S. Senate — about the failures of preparation and leadership that left police officers essentially fending for themselves, with no cohesive command, communications, or even basic supplies.
Bayard he has been reassigned to a desk job many of his colleagues call irrelevant, through an involuntary transfer by police Superintendent Warren Riley. Until about a month ago, Bayard led the department’s narcotics and vice squads; now he works in a vaguely defined office job as a liaison to the district attorney. Bayard loyalists view the move as retribution because Bayard spoke out and embarrassed the department leaders. They say the department needs officers like Bayard on the street now more than ever, as the Police Department still reels from post-Katrina rebuilding struggles, a steady attrition of officers and an anemic recruiting and training apparatus. Riley made the move after Bayard received a reprimand for his role in an ill-timed prostitution bust. The chief contends that the Bayard backers have created a conspiracy around a routine move. Riley wanted more busts of small-time street corner dealers because of the violence associated with that trade; Bayard preferred chasing kingpins in extended undercover probes.