In a bit of information that I could not verify, but was linked by Chris Regan at JunkYardBlog, this Behind the News article by former reporter Jon Christian Ryter indicates that Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco abandoned the NOPD.
Blanco’s advisers told her that the remaining 7,000 National Guard troops left in Louisiana were not enough to secure the city of New Orleans, and that it was not in her best political interest to use them until they could be reinforced since they might get hurt, or worse, hurt or kill a civilian they were charged with protecting. Instead, she let Nagin’s 1,500 New Orleans cops fend for themselves in a city that had been tacitly surrendered to looters and thugs.
Not only were the police undermanned, they were deaf… From an overlooked Federal Computer Week article:
Operation of the New Orleans police radio system in the wake of Hurricane Katrina has been plagued not only by floodwaters but by a lack of natural gas to power generators.
Not only that, Louisiana State Police turned away repair technicians when they attempted to reach the city, according to an on-scene report the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International relayed to Federal Computer Week.
…Radio repair technicians attempting to enter the city were turned away by the state police, even though they had letters from the city police authorizing their access, [Dominic] Tusa said.State officials were not only not part of the solution, they were a huge part of the problem…