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Five new civilian hires that are making the NOPD a better department

by Aaron E. Looney and Tyler Gamble

July 28, 2016

Categories: On the Beat

Topics: Modernizing Policing

Five new civilian hires that are making the NOPD a better department

When Chief Michael Harrison took control of the New Orleans Police Department two years ago, he made a commitment to move police officers out of desk jobs and put them back on neighborhood patrol. The idea was simple—use trained police officers to do police work and hire highly-skilled civilian professionals to handle the rest.

Since then, the NOPD has put more than 100 officers back on neighborhood patrol through an aggressive redeployment and civilianization strategy. At the same time, the department has brought on dozens of civilians to manage the administrative work and help the department run faster and better.

Here are five new civilians hired in 2016 who are making the NOPD more efficient and effective department:


Dwayne Pierce, Human Resources Director

Dwayne Pierce serves as the department’s Human Resources Director. In this role, Pierce oversees all human resources functions of the NOPD, including hiring, payroll and employee relations. With more than 20 years of experience that includes positions with Regions Bank and Harrah’s Casino, Pierce brings a wealth of corporate experience to the department. Prior to serving in this role, Pierce volunteered as a panelist for new police recruit interviews as part of the NOPD’s partnership with the businesses community in improving the hiring process.

Previously, human resources duties were handled by the Deputy Chief of Management Services Bureau (MSB). In a restructuring of MSB, the department decided these duties required a full-time position to ensure effective supervision and management.


Dr. Deidre Houston Magee, PhD, Training Academy Administrator

Dr. Deidre Houston Magee, PhD, serves as the NOPD’s first-ever civilian Academy Administrator. In this role, Dr. Magee is responsible for the overall quality of the training that NOPD recruits receive at the Academy, including managing lesson plans, curriculums, and student and instructor evaluations.

Dr. Magee received both her Bachelor of Arts degree in public administration and her Master’s degree in Education from Loyola University in New Orleans. She went on to earn a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Colorado State University and a second Master’s degree in Christian formation and Soul Care from Denver Seminary.

“Dr. Magee has brought an incredible amount of knowledge, experience and perspective of teaching and learning models to the Training Academy,” said NOPD Education and Training Commander Christopher Goodly.

The position was created in partnership with the Department of Justice and the Consent Decree Monitor to improve the academic integrity of the Training Academy and to ensure consistency and training. Previously, these duties were handled by the Commander of the Education and Training Division.


Christopher Mark, Fleet Management Division Manager

Christopher Mark serves as the Fleet Management Division Manager for the NOPD. In this role, Mark oversees the overall operation and allocation of the department’s fleet including vehicle inspections, brake tags, toll tags, inventory and documentation of the fleets’ status.

Mark brings 24 years of extensive management and logistics support experience to the department. He has served as a coordinator analyst, intelligence and security officer, company manager, senior logistics officer, operations and plans officer, senior fleet manager and transportation officer.

Mark received his Bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., and a Master’s degree in management and leadership from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. He is also a retired U. S. Marine Corps staff sergeant and a retired Army captain.

Previously, these duties were handled by a commissioned officer.


Betty Johnson, Executive Secretary

Betty Johnson serves as an executive secretary at the NOPD Third District station. She’s one of what will be a total of eight executive secretaries, one assigned to each district station, at the department. (Five positions have been filled, but there are still openings available).

In her role, Johnson assists with payroll, reviews reports, sorts through incoming and outgoing mail and helps the district commander and administrative sergeant with day-to-day operations of the district.

“I love working in the district,” Johnson says. “I enjoy getting the officers more of what they need and working behind the scenes. Officer safety is primary, but providing morale and support is also key.”

Johnson is a New Orleans native who earned her Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern University of New Orleans. She also served in a 911 communications role with NOPD for eight years, but left the city after Hurricane Katrina.

“Even after 10 years of being away, no matter where you are, there’s no place like home,” she says. “I saw a need here and wanted to come back.”

Previously, these duties were handled by commissioned officers. Those officers are now back on neighborhood patrol. And district commanders are part of the interview process to make sure the candidates hired fit their needs in the districts.


Joshua Long, Social Worker, Special Victims Section

Joshua Long is one of three civilian social workers trained to respond with Sex Crimes detectives to sexual assault scenes and to offer assistance, support and enhanced communication to victims throughout an investigation.

With undergraduate degrees in psychology, sociology and creative writing, and experience as a forensic interviewer and case manager at the New Orleans Children’s Advocacy Center, Long is well-trained in working with survivors of these types of crimes.

“It’s the kind of opportunity that just resonates with importance,” Long says. “To be able to take my professional expertise to enhance the relationship between the department and the community, while supporting the men and women in blue fighting every day for the safety and well-being of the city that I love… It all has been thoroughly fulfilling and I’m proud every time I tell someone where I work.”

The idea for the social workers came as one of several recommendations from Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Sexual Violence Response Advisory Committee in 2015. These positions are intended to create a strong bridge between survivors and detectives.