Aug 24, 2023 - News

Final interviews begin for next New Orleans police chief

Illustration of a star-shaped spotlight on a police hat.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Thursday began interviewing the finalists to lead the New Orleans Police Department as the next superintendent, officials confirmed to Axios.

  • Two were interviewed Thursday and the third will be interviewed Friday.

Why it matters: The NOPD superintendent is responsible for policing a city that reclaimed the unfortunate title of the murder capital of the U.S. late last year.

  • The force is also struggling to fill the ranks needed to protect the city and staff the many special events it hosts, including dozens of Mardi Gras parades.
  • Michelle Woodfork has been filling in on an interim basis since Shaun Ferguson retired in December.

Between the lines: Cantrell has been out of the public eye since the sudden death of her husband, Jason, on Aug. 14 after a heart attack. He was buried Tuesday.

  • Chief administrative officer Gilbert Montaño, chief of staff Clifton Davis III and public safety director John Thomas joined Cantrell during the interviews, according to John Lawson II, her press secretary.

Driving the news: These are the finalists along with their initial profiles from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which the city has hired to lead the national search.

Worth noting: Thedrick Andres Sr., a former police chief in Henderson, Nevada, was a finalist but he was hired Wednesday in Texas.

  • And, Franklin dropped out earlier in the process but agreed to the interview, Cantrell said, after her office reached out and said she wanted him as a finalist.

What's next: Once Cantrell selects a final candidate, they will go before the City Council for the confirmation process.

  • Cantrell's office earlier this month said they anticipate "concluding the search in the coming months."

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