The CopDoc Podcast: Aiming for Excellence in Leadership

The CopDoc Podcast - Danny Murphy - Ep. 53, former Deputy Commissioner, New Orleans Police and Baltimore Police

January 03, 2022 Danny Murphy Season 3 Episode 53
The CopDoc Podcast: Aiming for Excellence in Leadership
The CopDoc Podcast - Danny Murphy - Ep. 53, former Deputy Commissioner, New Orleans Police and Baltimore Police
Show Notes Transcript

Danny Murphy started working in community advocacy in his native New Orleans, LA.  He accepted a job as a Compliance Manager after the New Orleans Police were placed under a consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice.  He was promoted to Deputy Superintendent for Compliance with the NOPD. He later moved to the Baltimore Police Department as Deputy Commissioner of the Compliance Unit.  After seven years in Compliance, he is now a consultant to a number of larger police agencies in the USA.   

[00:00:02.690] - Intro

Welcome to the Cop Doc podcast. This podcast explores police leadership issues and innovative ideas. The Cop Doc shares thoughts and ideas as he talks with leaders, leaders in policing communities, academia and other government agencies. And now please join Dr. Steve Morreale and industry thought leaders as they share their insights and experience on The CopDoc Podcast.


[00:00:31.950] - Steve Morreale

Well, Hello again. Another episode of The CopDoc Podcast. This is Steve Morreale, and I am talking to you from Boston. And today we have the pleasure of talking with Danny Murphy, who is right now hanging out in New Orleans, which is his home base, Louisiana. Good morning, Danny.


[00:00:48.720] - Danny Murphy

Good morning, Steve. How are you doing?


[00:00:50.040] - Steve Morreale

I'm doing well, thank you very much. Is it still warm out there?


[00:00:52.690] - Danny Murphy

There's a cool front coming this weekend. It's going to hit the 70s. Great in October. So finally coming.


[00:00:58.610] - Steve Morreale

Yeah, it's nice up in Boston, and you've been in and out of Baltimore. We're seeing the change of season and the leaves are falling all over the lawn. But it is a pretty time. I was just up in New Hampshire, where the colors were just spectacular. Not quite. Here. Listen, the reason we talked to Danny, Danny has been a monitor in a couple of different places and is helping police departments with consent decrees, among other things. And, Danny, I had the opportunity to listen to you on Reducing Crime, the podcast with Jerry Ratcliffe, and I was fascinated by what you were able to explain and how you were able to get down to the granular level about what a consent decree is. And so that's the reason I asked you to come on. So just talk about a couple of places that you have done this kind of work. I mean, you have served as a Deputy Commissioner in two departments at this point in time. So talk about that. And what the hell led you to it?


[00:01:46.220] - Steve Morreale

How did they find you in the first place?


[00:01:48.060] - Danny Murphy

Yeah, that's a good question, because it hasn't been a typical career path. So I'm from New Orleans, undergrad was in a political economy, and English got an MBA. And the levees broke in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina the day of my freshman orientation in college. And I always wanted to come back to New Orleans and help in whatever way I could. So after college, I came back and was doing various community-oriented jobs. And eventually, this opportunity to work on the consent decree at the New Orleans Police Department came up, and that was on the heels of the Department of justice, calling N-O-P-D the worst police Department in the country. And it has the most extensive police reform mandate, a consent decree in the history of the country. And I raised my hand to be one of the people to go help out on that. Some people thought I was crazy for diving into that, but I loved it. There were moments where it was definitely hard, but it was a way to really try to work with the police Department, work with the community, to move forward on improving policing in New Orleans.


[00:02:56.280] - Danny Murphy

So I started as a team of five compliance managers, kind of managing reform implementation in a new Bureau called the Compliance Bureau and did that for a few years and had some success collaborating and moving forward on reforms and eventually got promoted to deputy Superintendent over the whole compliance Bureau at the young age of 29.


[00:03:16.800] - Steve Morreale



[00:03:17.500] - Danny Murphy

At that point, there have been a lot of jokes about my age and youthful appearance over the years. People call me Harry Potter and things like that. But Chief Harrison made a bold decision of giving me that opportunity because he saw how I was working together with the various partners and taking a very data driven approach to knowing where we are and where we had to get to. I had a lot of success on reforms there, and Chief Harrison and team had success driving down crime in certain critical categories in a 47 year low in homicide that brought Baltimore to recruit him to go oversee the Baltimore Police Department, struggling with similar crime problems, similar corruption problems and under a similarly extensive consent decree.


[00:04:01.490] - Danny Murphy

So I went up there to be the Deputy Commissioner over the Compliance Bureau. We created a Bureau that brought together reform, management, policy, training, technology, audits and inspections, and created our first ever equity office. And the idea was to bring together the pillars of reform together, from the written word of the policy to the training to help it come alive for officers, the technology to capture what was going on in a way that was not possible previously to then audits and inspections to see, are we really performing at the levels we need to at the end of the day and with an equity lens throughout all of that.


[00:04:37.120] - Danny Murphy

And I recently jumped into consulting to help agencies across the country move forward on reforms in this moment.


[00:04:45.740] - Steve Morreale

So let me ask you a question about that. So as you move forward, are you still affiliated with Baltimore?


[00:04:51.390] - Danny Murphy

I am not officially affiliated with Baltimore. I certainly stay in conversations with them regularly about still here as a resource for help moving forward. But they've got a great team under Commissioner Harrison still moving forward on the reforms up there.


[00:05:05.740] - Steve Morreale

Okay. And as you said before, it was time for you to move home. Welcome home. As they say, one of the things that strikes me and having been in policing for such a long time, and we see the ins and the outs, the changes in administration change in focus. We're going to do consent decrees. We're not going to do consent decrees. And now we're back to doing consent decrees again. And there are some things that are sort of in the middle. And so it strikes me one of the things that I did after I was with DEA.


[00:05:29.950] - Steve Morreale

I was the Chief of Investigations for health care fraud. And so what happens there is in an attempt to court divert, much like the consent decree. Sometimes the consent decree are driven from the court, but it's almost a court diversion program in some cases and in health care, it's a corporate integrity agreement. In other words, we're not going to shut you down hospital. What we're going to do is we're going to create a situation where you are going to be monitored. You're paying for the monitors, and then you will report back to the Department of Health and Human Services to make sure in a five-year period that you turn things around.


[00:06:02.740] - Steve Morreale

What strikes me about the two departments that you're talking about is that first of all, I'm sure when this comes in is resistance and reluctance. We don't want outside interference. We don't need all of that stuff. And yet they soon realized, yeah, I kind of think we do. But more importantly, changing the culture, the way things were done in the past. Think about New Orleans, think about New York, think about Baltimore and so many other places. And I'm curious about how does one start? How does one make the worker bees?


[00:06:31.740] - Steve Morreale

Clearly, administration understands what they have to do. But how do you drive that down to say, gentlemen, ladies, we have no choice. We must change the way we do things. Talk about that, yes.


[00:06:43.440] - Danny Murphy

There's certainly concern and frustration about the process, not just at the beginning, but throughout it. And usually it decreases over time because it's an external force coming in and saying that the system has not been working the way it is needed to for a long time. And that's typically coming on the heels of some kind of critical incident and fractured public trust. So it's a real recipe for a lot of discontent, both in the police Department and in the community. The community becomes excited, typically about these kind of federal interventions, but for the officers, it's the initiation of a long process that is fairly rare.


[00:07:24.420] - Danny Murphy

And there aren't a lot of experiences to turn to know exactly how it's going to play out. And they hear the word consent decree, but they don't know what that's going to mean for them. And so there is concern. There are questions there's resistance. Police departments typically are not very good at communicating in general about where they are and where they're going. Some of the things that we tried to do was to have consistent messaging that was supportive of the reform direction, but also supportive of crime fighting in the reform era, and that we need to do both of these things.


[00:07:59.450] - Danny Murphy

And it's not an either or approach. The consent decrees also address systemic issues that have been ailing the cops for a long time. For instance, in Baltimore, the training Academy was deplorable. The facility itself. The consent degree helped us get into a modern Academy. The training itself was not quality and impactful and helping the officers do their jobs at the levels that they wanted to do. And they saw a big jump in the quality of that training technology. They were still writing paper reports and sitting in stacks that were as high as the eye could see.


[00:08:36.470] - Danny Murphy

These are things that the officers rightfully said. We're in the modern era. But the Department has not caught up to where policing is right now, and the decree helped move forward on those pieces. But alongside that, there are tighter restrictions on uses of force stop search and arrest and other procedures that can produce frustration from the officers. But one of the goals of the training is to explain, why are we doing what you can do, not just what you can't do and how if we move in this direction, we can both be effective in public safety provision as well as building trust alongside of that, because we need to do both to do our jobs at the highest level.


[00:09:17.720] - Steve Morreale

Well, you talked about recipe and you talked about reform, and that consent decree represents a forced reform in many ways. You said why, explaining why. And I believe in Simon Sinnock's work start with why whenever possible. And I think it's really important. And when I have the opportunity to talk to police Chiefs and sergeants and mid managers, I'm saying, look, whenever possible, you should explain to the people why we're moving in this direction, and when you do that, it makes it easier for buying. So the concept of starting with why, why are we moving in this direction?


[00:09:48.420] - Steve Morreale

Why are we doing this? In other words, almost answering what's in it for me, because I don't want to change. But guys, here's what's going to happen. You're going to get better training the things that you said. But what I think is important for you to help us convey is you've been involved in a number of reform efforts. You are very, very conversant with at least two and certainly more consent decrease. Talk about that from your experience. In other words, sitting and reading it and picking it apart and understanding it and starting to come up with a strategy to deal with the things that are in this massive document.


[00:10:21.570] - Steve Morreale

Talk about that.


[00:10:22.380] - Danny Murphy

Yeah. And that's what I'm working on helping some agencies with right now because they received this massive legal document of a consent to create, and it's dense. It does not come with a manual how to implement it. And it's hard to know which way is up or down. With the extensive reforms there. And one of the key ingredients for both New Orleans and Baltimore and other places that have moved forward on the reforms is building capacity to reform. And the DOJ investigations and consent decrees typically point out systemic issues that you don't have the right systems for policy training, data analytics, accountability, all of that.


[00:11:00.640] - Danny Murphy

And typically there needs to be an elevation of capacity in those areas, which can come with additional staffing, additional training, potential reorganization of the Department to elevate those functions so that the agency is having the conversations it needs to have and the focus it needs to have on different functions to move forward. So we typically have hired a dedicated reform managers where I started to move forward, brought in additional training staff. You had Gary Cordner on your podcast. Incredible academic director for Baltimore. I wish every agency could have that kind of thing as well as additional resources on technology and auditing.


[00:11:40.960] - Danny Murphy

So first off, they're going to need to build the capacity and have reformed leadership to have a chance of moving forward because it's intensive work, and people need to be working on it every day in collaboration with the rest of the agency in the community. And then it's a massive project management operation. Saying, do better on use of force is complicated. There needs to be a rigorous process for developing the policy, then developing the training, delivering the training and auditing whether the training officers are performing or not, and then making those audits mean something to the agency, having them in concepts so that there's a performance feedback loop for the agency, be able to know, where are we and where do we need to get to to succeed at the levels that we want to succeed at and ultimately conclude these decrees.


[00:12:28.030] - Danny Murphy

But those feedback loops is where a lot of agencies struggle in reform. They get the policy. It looks like the other decree cities. They put out some kind of training, and then they're kind of in the dark about are they performing in line with decree requirements or not? And the lack of systems there on performance management and accountability is typically the big hole that has gotten them into this situation in the first place.


[00:12:57.480] - Steve Morreale

It seems to me - So you talk about the supervision and oversight is important, but measuring outcomes after you do that. But let's go back to the document. And when you say it's dense, I know there can be several hundred areas that need and require attention. Talk about that. And how do you sit down, walk into a room and you are now one of the persons responsible for compliance or for reform, for managing the reform and starting it. How do you chip away at that? How do you break that apart and start working and prioritizing those big numbers?


[00:13:28.640] - Steve Morreale

What do we work on first? I think that's what gets organizations a little bit in a conundrum like it's almost like we don't have any traction. We spin our wheels.


[00:13:36.630] - Danny Murphy

Yes, and you can gain momentum over time by making a significant of incremental process as you can, because the fewer paragraphs you have left in the decree, the easier it is to achieve them. But where do you start getting a sense of the extensive documents and identifying which areas you want to move forward with first recognizing you're not going to reissue all of the policies at once. If you want have any chance of the officers understanding it, and you're not going to be able to redo all of your training in a few weeks.


[00:14:11.340] - Danny Murphy

It's going to take some time. And hopefully this new area of decrees can be more efficient than the ones in the past. But frequently you can say what are the areas of greatest need for the officers and for the community so it could be use of force was one of the first big ones to move forward in Baltimore, and you need to move forward with reworking that policy in line with decree requirements and community engagement. And then once you have that policy, developing the training and then delivering the training, if you're trying to take the whole thing at once, you're going to be stuck, but it's breaking it into pieces and trying to project different timelines for moving forward on those many requirements is critical.


[00:14:51.520] - Danny Murphy

I came in in the middle of the process in Baltimore and there was a real desire to get results moving more quickly. There'd been a lot of policy work, but everyone was looking for the results to hit the street as soon as possible, and that goes back to proper planning and sequencing. From the start, the decree is going to tell you you need to change your operations on so many of the primary functions of a police Department and trying to do it all at once means you might not move forward meaningfully on a lot of it, but you've got to try to push forward as much as possible while focusing on really moving forward.


[00:15:29.810] - Danny Murphy

Some of the key areas like use of force, stop, search and arrest other systems that are of primary concern to the public and necessary for effective functioning of the agency.


[00:15:38.650] - Steve Morreale

So as you've had this experience and you continue to do so in working with other agencies now, as a consultant, bringing the learning and the approaches that you have seen in New Orleans and Baltimore without naming those other places that you might be working at. Are those places under consent decrees or are they trying to sort of do some self reform?


[00:15:59.850] - Danny Murphy

I think a lot of agencies, after the recent events in policing and tragedies in policing, are taking a self-assessment in Proactive ways that have not occurred in the past. I'm helping agencies to under decree or potentially headed towards a decree and the previous decrees are kind of a more detailed version of the 21st century policing blueprint right with the 6 billion. It gives a blueprint for agencies to proactively, ensure or implement reforms that they are operating in line with kind of would have been deemed best practices in the fields.


[00:16:41.630] - Danny Murphy

Generally, if agencies can proactively implement those reforms and ensure they're performing at that level, not just policy and training, but performing at that level. I think that will go a long way towards sustaining or building public trust and preventing the need for federal intervention. So it's not a huge mystery what agencies need to do to prevent a consent decree. There are the lengthy documents that are out there, but turning it into a reality is difficult, but building capacity and jumping into it and taking it pushing every day.


[00:17:12.770] - Danny Murphy

But one day at a time, they can continually build themselves into a better place.


[00:17:16.970] - Steve Morreale

So we're talking to Danny Murphy and he's in New Orleans today, and in the past, he has been the Deputy Commissioner and two agencies for compliance, focusing on reform and consent decrees in Baltimore and New Orleans. But one of the things I wanted to ask is there are so many police departments, Danny, as you know, especially in Louisiana, most departments are 25 or less. They're small agencies. And I understand you've got Sheriff's departments, and that's a big deal in Louisiana. Not so much up here in the Northeast, but inspections and audits that you talked about being Proactive and asking the question, who polices the police?


[00:17:49.110] - Steve Morreale

The problem that I see in many cases that we go from week to week, month to month, year to year, and the major changes that we make in small departments is incremental budget changes, that's it. No one is coming in. There's no state oversight, maybe accreditation or certification by state or CALEA - National can be of value. But for those that don't, it seems to me, how do I try to nip things in the bud being proactive to say, how are we doing? How do we measure our performance? How do we use data to make decisions? How do we use evidence based policing strategies to improve departments? So speak to that small Department for a few moments. What do I do? How can I do it with 25 people? I don't have an accreditation manager. I don't have a deputy administrator for compliance or whatever. Talk about that.


[00:18:37.860] - Danny Murphy

Yeah, I've certainly worked in larger agencies over time. But what I encourage any agency to do is just start where you can and start with something. And in terms of auditing, like, what are you concerned about? What would cause a problem for the agency, for the community and take a look at it. You don't need a whole unit necessarily. But if you tell someone, take half a day, take a day, see whether the offices are turning their cameras on or not, see whether the force reporting is accurate, see whether the stops that are occurring seem to be conducted professionally.


[00:19:15.490] - Danny Murphy

It can start small and then report out what those results are. Where we started. New Orleans was simply having a person look at the CAD report of what we were dispatched to and see what body camera footage existed for those calls. And we got a percentage of where we are by districts, by shifts, from manual work that didn't take a ton of time. And we did that over and over and over again until the point where we were at 98% 99% compliance, turning cameras on. And that might seem like a small thing.


[00:19:46.380] - Danny Murphy

But it's a huge thing, because if you have the cameras and you don't turn it on for a critical incident, that can cause all kinds of problems for the agency and for the community. And that kind of simple check can up the accountability and potential transparency for an agency. And it doesn't take a lot. And from there, it can bring different ideas of okay, well, if this worked in this way, what else should we look at? So we took that same approach, and we produced these scorecards that simply summarized performance by district by shift on different topics and put it into our management meetings, Comstat over and over again.


[00:20:23.890] - Danny Murphy

So there was a performance feedback on these kind of compliance accountability issues that mattered in a way that had never happened in the past. And without some kind of centralized person looking at these issues, I think agencies become over reliant on supervisors who need to do what they need to do. But often they haven't had the training. They might not have the clearest policy to do that. And these centralized inspections can help bring together where do we want to be and where are we? And how do we move in that direction to become a better agency?


[00:20:56.830] - Danny Murphy

So big picture. Start where you are. Think about what are you concerned about, what could cause a big problem and just take a look and let people know what the results are. And that's the kind of feedback loop that these consent decrees are calling for in very intensive ways. But it's the kind of perspective that agencies can bring to try to reduce risk for the agency in the community and improve performance over time.


[00:21:20.360] - Steve Morreale

A colleague of mine is involved as a monitor with the New York Police, Dr. Jim McCabe. He has tried to move towards a Balanced Scorecard, taking that business process and moving it into policing, which is pretty interesting. What I want to know is what the reporting requirements are, whether it's quarterly or annually. You're reporting in most cases to a judge or to judge's staff or to the Department of justice, depending on where it came from. So talk about that experience.


[00:21:46.410] - Danny Murphy

New Orleans and Baltimore followed fairly similar engagement processes with the monitoring team, the Department of justice and the court. Typically, we'd have monthly meetings with all of the parties together, talking about a variety of topics, and then a quarterly public hearing to brief out on updates on reform implementation. Now almost every day we were having conversations with the consent decree monitors and the Department of justice about policy development, training, development, audit, development, technology, modernization and the like. And so consistent communication was necessary to ensure that the Department was moving forward in a way that was going to achieve the goals of the consent decree as efficiently as we possibly could, because we need everyone sign off on us complying with these requirements at the end of the day.


[00:22:38.520] - Danny Murphy

That's kind of what the infrastructure looks like generally. But a consent decree almost in every section of the later consent decrees will require some kind of annual reporting on use of force, stop search and arrest, misconduct, et cetera. And one thing we really push towards in New Orleans, and we're pushing towards in Baltimore as part of technology modernization was to create open data, public dashboards of where the agency is in these different areas, and those kind of systems are both necessary towards the agency becoming data driven and better managed about what the trends are within its own operations as well as sustainable transparency for the public or during the decree.


[00:23:19.850] - Danny Murphy

What do the trends look like and after the decree? Because the goal of these decrees is to build enduring systems towards improvement, recognizing that the agency is not going to be perfect, but it's going to need systems to identify problems and address problems in collaboration with the community. So much of it comes down to kind of this data reporting, but you got to make it digestible and actionable and foster collaboration about what is there and how can the agency move forward in the best way possible to protect and serve the community?


[00:23:50.770] - Steve Morreale

So do you think that policing is moving towards being more professional? Obviously, Bill Bratton just wrote a book and it was about policing and professional, and I asked him the question and the question was, do you really think people believe that policing is a profession or more blue collar in some cases? And are these consent decrees and the focus that there's so much distrust out there and disdain for policing as you well know? And yet you're working from the inside and sometimes from the outside to try to help police find their way?


[00:24:20.120] - Steve Morreale

Do you find your experience both with the new New Orleans police, the new Baltimore police, that they are moving and managing it in a professional and leading it in a professional manner?


[00:24:29.350] - Danny Murphy

I think that's a big part of what these decrees are about of building systems, professional systems that identify problems and try to improve upon them and have high standards and know whether they're meeting those standards or not. So a continual theme in the Baltimore training and in New Orleans was procedural justice in interactions and police legitimacy and public trust, and all of that comes back to being the most professional Department the Department can be and continually striving towards better. And I think that's really one of the turning points in these decrees eventually, if it goes from that frustration and resistance up front, and some of that certainly continues.


[00:25:11.930] - Danny Murphy

But there's a turning point where it's like we are getting better and there are opportunities to get a lot better now, and we are now, instead of being told what to do in the decree, we are identifying things that we want to do beyond the decree to become the Department that we want to be and not what the outsiders are telling us to be. And so much of that comes down to becoming a professional agency on a level the agency may not have been before, and that doesn't mean that there aren't tons of professional officers in those agencies.


[00:25:43.020] - Danny Murphy

Decrees are about system failures. And a lot of the officers in the agency would say there are system failures in the agency, and it's about building those systems to enhance professionalism across the board. So yes, I think you're spot on that. That is a big focus of these decrees and becoming agencies and organizations that are striving towards continuous improvement.


[00:26:04.950] - Steve Morreale

So a procedural justice you just spoke about what about systemic racism in two places and other places that you have had. That's one of the criticisms that police have when you sit with police, they'll say, I'm not racist. I'm working in an area where there's an awful lot of minorities and that's who I'm interacting with. And yet I'm accused of being racist for trying to control crime. What's your sense of that? How was that addressed in both Baltimore and New Orleans?


[00:26:28.360] - Danny Murphy

Baltimore and New Orleans and many other decrees will have a section about buy street policing or implicit bias, and that requires new policies, new trading, new reporting, and new levels of analysis of officer activity interactions right in these different areas. And that's obviously a huge and fundamental and longstanding topic in policing. And the biases in policing aren't in a vacuum. They are a part of the biases and issues of the whole society. And one of the things that we really put a focus on in Baltimore was creating an equity office, recognizing we are going to need dedicated capacity, and they definitely need more capacity to do all the work that they need to do on this.


[00:27:20.210] - Danny Murphy

But first, acknowledging that there are longstanding, big problems in this area that are fundamental to public trust, and we need to engage with them. And the equity office was both looking at internal equity as well as external equity. I know Seattle right now, which is later on in a consent decree, is trying to build out automated, more rigorous, disparate treatment equity analysis in a variety of ways so that they're running robust analyses on an ongoing basis to try to identify what are the negative outcomes the police are producing in this area or might be producing in this area?


[00:27:59.450] - Danny Murphy

And what can we do about them? And how can we engage the public in moving forward on those issues? Obviously, it's an incredibly complicated and critical topic here. That is not something, unfortunately, that will be solved overnight because it's been built up over centuries, but it's critical for agencies to engage with it, be real about it and try to move forward to reduce harms that are being produced from it. So obviously, this is a brief conversation. There's a lot to say about all of that, but being Proactive and engaging on it and being real about it, I think, is critical.


[00:28:35.340] - Steve Morreale

Certainly, a consent decree can be extremely costly, but an important investment in the agency. And when you talked about procedural justice, one of the things that I hear an awful lot is, yeah, sure, we need procedural justice outside. But we also need procedural justice inside that police officers have to be treated with respect and not constantly ridiculed or ridden or derided, because if they leave the station pissed off because someone's stabbing them in the back, how can we expect human beings to be in a good mood to go and do their job, even though sometimes it's a tough job?


[00:29:07.930] - Steve Morreale

I understand that. But did you address internal procedural justice?


[00:29:11.330] - Danny Murphy

That's a huge topic. And there's always more that needs to be done about it. And that was one of the focus areas for the New Equity office we brought on in Baltimore. In both departments, we conducted focus groups with various levels to identify frustrations and concerns in New Orleans that turned into a variety of burden reduction exercises of how do we try to make your job more efficient and more rewarding? In Baltimore, it lined up with the creation of a retention plan that was required by the consent decree that identifies problems.


[00:29:48.200] - Speaker 2

Big problems like to what you're saying, Steve? You show up at the station in the morning, and the facility is not at the level it needs to be. The car barely works. They don't have a computer in the car that works. There are all kinds of different issues that both make the job less rewarding and less efficient dealing with all of that. And without addressing internal procedural justice and trying to move forward on those issues, it is hard to expect the officers to deliver the external procedural justice at the level you're looking for.


[00:30:22.250] - Danny Murphy

And I think that later consent decrees get more towards trying to work on that internal procedural justice piece. Create an officer wellness unit, creating a retention plan that is looking at these issues, creating a staffing plan to try to create a path forward. So there's not a ton of work dumped on officers who are scrambling to do all kinds of things at once. Training for supervisors that has never occurred in the past to try to provide more support to the officers. But, yeah, it's an incredibly difficult job and very difficult during the protest season for officers.


[00:30:58.590] - Danny Murphy

And these reform processes need to focus on building those internal supports to deliver the results for the public, which are contingent upon becoming a better Department internally as well.


[00:31:10.550] - Steve Morreale

So we're winding down. There's a couple of questions I'd like to ask you, and thank you. We're talking to Danny Murphy. He is standing right now, and he's interviewing standing, I must say, but in New Orleans and he has been the deputy Commissioner for compliance in both New Orleans and Baltimore police departments. But I want to ask you this, what do you know now that you wish you knew at the beginning? What are the things you learned over time if I was your replacement? What are some of the things that you would talk to me about?


[00:31:35.210] - Steve Morreale

What are some of the things that you would help me prepare to become effective as the compliance manager?


[00:31:41.280] - Danny Murphy

I would tell you it's all about performance, period. And I think that's what a lot of decree agencies struggle with. And I think it's a lot of non-decree agencies are not equipped to deal with frequently from the conversations I've had, policy and training is the foundation, but it's all about knowing whether you're performing and taking action, where performance isn't there and improving performance over time. But in these police reform conversations, it always comes back to policy and training, but it's about so much more than that.


[00:32:13.030] - Danny Murphy

Now there's increasing focus on kind of the accountability systems and misconduct complaint investigations, which is a critical backstop. There is so much space between policy and training and the misconduct system, and that is where supervision and performance management and analytics come in. And I think that is where agencies have an incredible opportunity to improve, both for this reform performance management area, but also for crime management and improving the way you run the agency is a requirement of a decree, but those improvements can help on crime management as well, and no longer should CompStat be story time with a few dots on the screen and no real discussion of what's going on there and what you're doing, whether it's working or not, what the plan is for the future, becoming more real data driven on that and accountable on that goes hand in hand with becoming more real, data driven and accountable on form.


[00:33:10.040] - Danny Murphy

And so becoming an agency that is very focused on performance and accountability at the end of the day, across the board is critical. You spend years and years working on policy and training and things like that without any eye towards delivering the results. At the end of the day, it's going to be years down the line, and you're not going to have a system to know where you are and where you got to be and ultimately deliver the results. You need to to conclude the decree to build trust with the public and become the more professional agency that your officers will ultimately want as well.


[00:33:41.760] - Steve Morreale

What I'm hearing and going back to what you said before, for each one of these elements that you're working on, you have to create a scorecard and you have to sit down and figure out, okay, how do we measure it? What's performance, what is our expectation? And then how can we dig into that and provide useful data metrics if you will, to show whether or not we are moving forward. That's longitudinal start today. And here's the problem, I think, Danny, if you get started, if you're not taking a measurement at the outset in some way to compare it with five years from now, you're never going to see whether there's improvement.


[00:34:10.590] - Steve Morreale

I see you're smiling.


[00:34:12.130] - Danny Murphy

No, I'm smiling at that because an evolution of the decrees is the what are called outcome assessments or outcome measurements in these different critical areas. And a complication with conducting those outcome assessments is often the data systems and performance metrics are not at the level. Maybe you dab them be at the beginning of a decree which complicates over time. Apples to apples comparisons basically across the board understood different variables change the outcome, right? Yeah. Totally. And so that is certainly a complication and puts even more urgency on creating sustainable performance management systems and metrics early on.


[00:34:54.010] - Steve Morreale

I can see that. Thank you very much. So let me ask you the last question. What's on your to do list? What is it you want to accomplish in the next few years? That is professional.


[00:35:02.640] - Danny Murphy

I want to help organizations implement reforms in a more efficient and effective way. And these decrees are a rare process. The Rarity is decreasing at this point, but I want to share what I've learned to other agencies to help elevate policing in a more systemic way across the nation. Where possible. Going back to our conversation up front, these decrees or extensive blueprints for reform if you're not under decree are massive. A lot of the time and agencies struggle to know how to start or how to move forward and what the end looks like on these things.


[00:35:39.830] - Danny Murphy

And I want to help them move forward with greater knowledge of the process, greater insights, better planning, and getting to that performance point earlier that we've hit on.


[00:35:51.200] - Steve Morreale

Well, a guy like you who is now getting into consulting, and I want to ask how people can get in touch with you if they're interested. But a guy like you certainly down the road when you step back and you think about what you accomplished, how you accomplished it, understanding. It was done in a team. It wasn't Danny Murphy, but it was all the people that you played with and talked with and worked with that there has to be some sort of a template out there. And I'm not asking for your template, but it seems to me that there must be some sort of a checklist.


[00:36:15.850] - Steve Morreale

How do you begin to develop the scorecards? What do you develop scorecards for? Where do you start? How do we prioritize? How do we start the incremental process of improving this Department? What's your thought?


[00:36:26.640] - Danny Murphy

Totally. And that is a big part of the reason I jumped into consulting because I worked in two different degree departments over the course of seven years. And over that time, I got calls from all over the country asking for help on how did you do this? How did you do this? How did you do that? And the issues in these different agencies across the nation are so similar, but the solutions have not been applied in many of them. And so I'm trying to help this change process, which is vital to departments and the community, be easier by trying to provide these solutions to them.


[00:36:59.940] - Danny Murphy

And unfortunately, the solutions aren't simple.


[00:37:01.960] - Steve Morreale



[00:37:02.280] - Danny Murphy

Conceptually, they're simple. They're like, do the policy, do the training, collect the data, see where it is. But trying to help agencies drill down into those pieces to move forward to deliver better results as soon as possible and equipping them with the knowledge and tools as early as possible in the process will help them deliver the results more quickly. And these agencies need, like, a starter kit to get moving on this overwhelming process. And I'm trying to help them with that.


[00:37:33.110] - Steve Morreale

But even with the starter kit, there has to be someone who's had that experience like yourself to say. Okay, stop, let's sit down. Let's talk. Let's talk about the ten things that are on your mind that percolate to the top. Now, we can't work at ten things at the same time. How do we prioritize and chip away at it and come up with a plan exactly what you said in the beginning.


[00:37:50.450] - Danny Murphy

And I've gone through exactly that process recently. And the number one thing is build capacity to do this. So you can do more than ten things at a time, right? Because you're going to need to end up doing 100 things at a time, but it can't just be one person doing all of that. So, yeah, it's absolutely been a team effort. I've been incredibly lucky to work with incredible teams and incredible leadership to move forward on these reforms. And I'm hoping to help different agencies build those effective teams to move forward, to reduce the frustration of the officers of leadership of community to come to great conclusions on these decree processes or non decree reform processes as soon as possible.


[00:38:31.790] - Steve Morreale

It sounds like you and me feel like we cannot operate in a society in a Democratic society without police. And certainly we've got some improvements to make the whole idea of defunding. That could be a whole conversation between you and me. But I find that to be ridiculous. And I think people are realizing that the money you took away from policing is starting to increase crime. And so all of a sudden, now we've got to put a reverse on it to give money back, which is crazy.


[00:38:54.820] - Steve Morreale

So we've been talking to Danny Murphy. How do people get in touch with you, Danny?


[00:38:57.850] - Danny Murphy

Sure, you can Google me on LinkedIn. Danny Murphy my email is Danny


[00:39:05.700] - Steve Morreale

That's an easy one. You have the last word. What would you suggest to those small departments again that are saying I will never see a consent decree. But what is their role in professionalizing Department? What steps might they take?


[00:39:19.020] - Danny Murphy

I would say, take a real look at where you are and where you want to be and what concerns do you have about your performance? What might keep you up at night and take some time out of your busy schedule to try to figure out what can you do to prevent that problem for improved performance in that area, and then move from there on to the next topic, on to the next topic. And if you look at one of these degrees, yes, they are long documents, but they're also an intensive blueprint of a lot of things that you probably want to do if you have the resources and prioritize from there, what steps can you take to become the agency you want to be?


[00:39:59.470] - Danny Murphy

And this era right now is kind of like either the agency can move forward on trying to solve its own problems or somebody else tell the agency to solve the problems in a certain way. So being Proactive in this moment can help in a variety of ways.


[00:40:15.980] - Steve Morreale

Danny, I was going to say goodbye, but I had one more question that just came up, and that is when you're sitting there talking to other people, our police Department is counting the wrong things.


[00:40:24.250] - Speaker 2

Yes and no, I think they're counting some meaningful things. I think they might be counting some things the wrong way or in a detrimental way. And there's a ton of things that they aren't counting that matter, to effective management and to public trust and coming back to performance management and auditing in these reform areas, the vast majority of agencies that I've encountered do not have any significant insight into those areas of primary concern.


[00:40:52.180] - Steve Morreale

So let me speak to one and get your opinion, and then I've got to go, because I don't want this to run too long. However, it seems to me that we're counting beans and we're counting - how many car stops do we make what happens with those car stops? How many cases? How many responses? But if we are to reach out to the community, we're not counting that very well about the community interactions, attending meetings, those kinds of things. Do you see that as something that if you report out, would really tell a better story about the efforts that are made by police to interact with the community?


[00:41:21.670] - Danny Murphy

Agencies have to think about the incentives they are putting out there and aligning their incentives with what they think is important, operationally to be successful and what the community is looking for. And I think a lot of agencies have been in status quo of counting and incentives for a long time, and that has certainly been a contributing factor to what has occurred over the last two years.


[00:41:44.340] - Steve Morreale

That's a great way to stop. Thank you so much. I'm so glad to connect with you. I wish you all the good luck in the future in the departments that you will help. And as you told me at the beginning, you're ready to become a first father. I wish you the best of luck with that. That's terrific. Well, best of luck. This is Steve Morreale. We've been talking to Danny Murphy, who is now in New Orleans and worked in Baltimore at the police Department in the New Orleans Police Department.


[00:42:05.440] - Steve Morreale

Thank you so much for your time and your energy.


[00:42:07.720] - Danny Murphy

No problem. Been a pleasure.


[00:42:08.750] - Steve Morreale

Hey, everybody, a few things before you leave first. Thanks for listening. I'm so gratified to see the downloads rise in the last few months, not only from the US but from across the globe. It's surprising and humbling to find students, colleagues, and practitioners listening. We have a growing number of listeners in Canada, Ireland, England, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Colombia. We appreciate your time and energy and welcome feedback. Please feel free to reach out to me by email at Check out our website at


[00:42:38.380] - Steve Morreale

Com. Please take the time to share a podcast with a friend. If you find value in the discussion, we've had so many amazing guests and more to come who have shared their wisdom, their thoughts, their viewpoints, and their innovative ideas. Most importantly, a huge thank you to those of you who show up for work in policing every day, not knowing the kinds of calls that you'll be sent on or the kinds of situations you'll find yourself in. You risk your lives for people many of whom you don't know.


[00:43:01.270] - Steve Morreale

And for that we owe you a debt of gratitude. A big thanks. Hope you stay safe, healthy, and look forward to hearing from you and hope you'll continue to listen to upcoming episodes of the copdoc podcast.


[00:43:13.350] - Outro

Thanks for listening to The CopDoc Podcast with Dr. Steve Morreale. Steve is a retired law enforcement practitioner and manager turned academic and scholar from Worcester State University. Please tune into The CopDoc Podcast for regular episodes for interviews with thought leaders in policing.