Oct 19, 2023 - Politics

Anne Kirkpatrick confirmed as New Orleans' new police chief

Photo shows NOPD chief Anne Kirkpatrick at a press conference with her top brass

Anne Kirkpatrick, center, is the newly confirmed NOPD chief. Photo: Chelsea Brasted/Axios

The New Orleans City Council confirmed Anne Kirkpatrick on Thursday as the next superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department.

  • The vote was 6-1, with council member Oliver Thomas voting against.

Why it matters: It's the first time the City Council has used its new confirmation power in the hiring process for a top administration official.

  • Voters gave the council the power to check top hires last year when they approved a change to the Home Rule Charter, which acts like the city's constitution.

State of play: Cantrell nominated Kirkpatrick, most recently the police chief in Oakland, California, after a national search led by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

  • She was sworn in as the interim chief on Sept. 22, replacing Michelle Woodfork, who had been serving as the interim NOPD chief since Shaun Ferguson retired in December.
  • Several council members previously praised Woodfork who was a finalist for the job. City Council vice president Helena Moreno said she and others would work to create a permanent, three-star deputy chief position for Woodfork, making her the force's No. 2 under Kirkpatrick.

What she's saying: "I want to be here in New Orleans," Kirkpatrick said before the vote. "If you should confirm me today, I will be all in on everything associated with the safety of this city, to embrace the culture, to embrace the traditions and uphold them."

What's next: The City Council will exercise its new confirmation powers again soon for the director of the Public Works Department.

  • Cantrell must nominate a candidate to replace Sarah Porteous, who left in September. The candidate will then go before the City Council in a similar process to Kirkpatrick's hearings.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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