New Orleans Police chief retires after four years on the job

A survey of NOPD officers came back showing 86% of the officers “are dissatisfied with NOPD mentioning issues like cronyism, favoritism and only getting promoted based on who you know and not based on your ability and experience.”

New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson announced he’s retiring after nearly four years as the superintendent of the NOPD. His announcement comes after calls for his resignation.

“The City of New Orleans will soon bid farewell to a great leader, a great partner and a great friend. After 24 years of dedicated public service to the City of New Orleans, Superintendent Shaun Ferguson will retire at the end of this year. He gave this city his very best – the safety and wellbeing of each and every resident and visitor was always his top priority,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.  

Ferguson’s departure has been one you could say has been widely speculated. Recently, New Orleans Councilman J.P. Morrell said in a council meeting, “We need a new chief, period. We need a new chief.” Morrell added, “You can repair the hole in the Titanic over and over but if the Captain keeps on driving it into an iceberg, nothing is going to change.”

Ferguson fought back and said, “I think everyone is entitled to their opinion. I think we need new leadership at the council.”

Ferguson was sworn in as the superintendent in January 2019 after serving as the Commander of the Educational and Training Division. The NOLA native began his NOPD career in 1998.

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new orleans police chief retires Shaun Ferguson

NOPD’s website detailed Ferguson’s past saying, “Prior to overseeing the academy and training the next generation of NOPD officers, Ferguson served as Commander of the department’s Second District from 2016 to 2018 before moving to the academy in the summer of 2018. Before his assignment in the Second District, Ferguson commanded NOPD’s Fourth District from 2014 to 2016.”

A survey of NOPD officers came back showing 86% of the officers “are dissatisfied with NOPD mentioning issues like cronyism, favoritism and only getting promoted based on who you know and not based on your ability and experience,” said NO Council President Helena Moreno.

“We engage our officers on a daily basis looking for opportunities to improve their work environment,” Ferguson said in response. “I think we have done a hell of a job over the last several months.”

No word yet on when his last day will be and who will replace the chief.

Chief Ferguson did issue a statement:

I want to thank Mayor Cantrell and her administration for their constant support over the past four years. I also want to thank the men & women of the NOPD for their continued hard work and service its citizens. 

I also want to thank the citizens of this great city for their kind words and support during my tenure. I could not have done my job without their support, and I will always be grateful for that. 

It is vital that the community continue its support for this department. We need to support each other as we continue the work of making this city safe for its residents and visitors. 

After 24 years of service in a profession that takes a lot out of the individuals who answer this call, it is time for me to take a step back and place more priority on my family and my own well-being. I will still be your neighbor and I will always be a part of this city that I love so much. 

Mayor Cantrell continued her comments regarding Chief Ferguson:

“Since joining the NOPD in 1998, Chief Ferguson has served with honor, distinction and integrity. At the time of his appointment to Chief, he was serving as the Commander of the Educational and Training Division, which oversees the police academy. Prior to training the next generation of NOPD officers, he served as Commander of the Second District from 2016 to 2018. Before this, he commanded NOPD’s Fourth District from 2014 to 2016. He is also a member of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. 

As Superintendent, Chief Ferguson helped shape the NOPD into a strong, trustworthy, professional and efficient department, capable of repairing the broken rapport between the NOPD and our citizens and business owners. His tenure as Chief saw the national rise in crime due to the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but under his diligent leadership, the NOPD persevered. Over this last year, the city has seen serious reductions in crime, such as aggravated assaults, sexual assaults, business and residential burglaries and non-fatal shootings. We have also seen more illegal guns being taken off our streets, with nearly 2,500 illegal guns seized just this year. His community-focused approach has helped mend the relationships between our officers and our residents. We can see that Chief Ferguson’s strong commitment, willingness to consult with other public safety experts and his well-trained police force are making a difference in this city today. 

I would like to extend the most heartfelt thank you to Chief Ferguson for your nearly 25 years of service, selflessness and sacrifice, especially in accepting my appointment of you as Chief in January 2019. Since then, the city has faced countless challenges – the Hard Rock Hotel collapse, two major hurricanes, a global pandemic, global inflation and a nationwide shortage of public safety personnel that New Orleans was certainly not immune to. Yet, you faced all of these seemingly insurmountable hurdles with dignity, grace and determination. Your steadfastness in the face of these challenges and tragedies certainly has been a source of comfort to your fellow officers, affected families and victims and our community overall.  

I am grateful for the opportunity we had to work so closely together to improve our city’s public safety through a collaborative, holistic approach and through working in tandem with other City departments.”

About Kiran Chawla 1134 Articles
I'm an Emmy & Murrow Award winning investigative reporter who simply loves my job!

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