Mar 262013

Attorney Morris Bart, left, NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas and NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel tour locker rooms at the NOPD Second District station that were recently renovated based on a donation from Bart. (Robert Morris,

Attorney Morris Bart, center, smiles as he accepts a statuette from NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas in thanks for his donation. (Robert Morris,

The floors may still have soft spots and the roof may still leak, but at least the officers at the century-old Second District police station now have a decent place to change clothes or use the restroom, thanks to a donation from prominent New Orleans attorney Morris Bart.

“They put their lives on the line,” Bart said. “If what I can do makes their lives a little easier and shows that, ‘Yes, we do appreciate what they do for us and for the people of New Orleans,’ then it’s my pleasure.”

The deplorable condition of the substation on Magazine Street — with widespread termite damage and a structure so unsound that officers decamp to local hospitals to weather tropical storms — is well known among city officials, but a problem with no immediate solution on the horizon. With fundraisers and private donations, the COPS 2 citizen’s support group for Second District police has paid for numerous renovations over the years, and late last year Bart asked how he could lend a hand as well.

After consulting with the officers and Second District leadership, Bart decided the upgrades that would go the farthest toward making the station “livable” for those who work there would be renovations to the locker room and restrooms, he said Tuesday morning during a tour of the completed project with NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas and Second District Commander Paul Noel. The renovation project cost about $30,000, Bart said.

“The changes we’ve brought into the Second District station helps the officers to have a more professional work environment, helps these officers to perform in a more professional environment, and most importantly, they see the evidence that the people in this community want to support the police officers,” Serpas said.

The building dates back to the late 1800s and previously held a fire station and a jail, Noel said, and this isn’t the first time Bart has gotten involved: In the 1990s, Bart paid for construction of two small outbuildings that could also be used as much-needed office space. Having new bathrooms will be just as welcome, Noel said.

“Those bathrooms, if they would have been in the parish prison, they wouldn’t have been able to use them,” Noel joked.

  3 Responses to “Morris Bart donation remodels officers’ quarters at century-old Uptown police station”

  1. Is this article correct? The NOPD’s 2nd District Police station needed a $30,000 donation just to fix the locker room and restrooms?

    So with all the hundreds and millions of tax dollars from Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Super Bowl and the 14 or so major national events in like 16 months, the City and NOPD couldn’t even afford $30,000 even after billions of dollars of money 7 years after Hurricane Katrina?

    Is NOLA supposed to be an Up-and-Coming and “Come Back” city but still needs a donation of $30,000 just to fix the locker room and restrooms?

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  2. You’re correct, AhContraire! This city supposedly rakes in a fortune from tourism and conventions – the people who run the place have driven everything else away – but we need private donations to get simple repairs completed? Meanwhile, homeowners in the neighborhood pay a special assessment to hire a private patrol to get protection the NOPD isn’t providing. The Second District should hit Tipitina’s up for a donation, too: the Club certainly owes them, for the exemption from applicable laws they’ve been “granted” by the Not Our Problem Dude Department.

  3. Good for Bart! But we do need some detailed, factual information about WHY the City is so poor in some media reports and so quickly progressing in others. Why we hear how great the tourism industry is, how 9 million people came in 2012 to visit, yet our SWB and trash bills double. We need to hear the truth about what funds come from where and go to what.
    Our City Leaders seem to be pushing some of us to leave–not repairing our most-heavily traveled streets, not repairing street lights for years, and not enforcing basic code violations or collecting back-taxes–while they lure younger folks to move here and into the newly-improved CBD, Marigny, and soon Tulane Corridor.

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