‘I might be all in on all the pieces:’ New Orleans confirms Anne Kirkpatrick as PD superintendent

October 21, 2023by Naomi Cramer

By Ben Myers

The Instances-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate

NEW ORLEANS — After a contentious search of almost a 12 months, former Oakland police chief Anne Kirkpatrick was confirmed on Thursday as the subsequent superintendent of the New Orleans Police Division with a mandate to construct again the dwindling power and convey down violent crime.

The Metropolis Council voted 6-1 to approve Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s choose to completely change Shaun Ferguson, who retired in December.

Kirkpatrick, 64, won over Cantrell following a national search.

Kirkpatrick, 64, gained over Cantrell following a nationwide search. (The Instances-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate)

Kirkpatrick, 64, gained over Cantrell following a nationwide search that appeared destined to put in NOPD veteran Michelle Woodfork, who served as interim chief, into the highest job. But it surely was Kirkpatrick’s expertise serving as head of different police departments that finally earned her the nod.

With two years left in Cantrell’s second time period, Kirkpatrick has a doubtlessly quick window to display success. She’s tasked with boosting the scale of the power, which has fewer officers than it is had in many years, and bettering on a current development of falling violent crime after it surged over the previous two years. She’ll even be working beneath the decade-old federal consent decree.

Thursday’s vote got here on the heels of a five-hour committee listening to on Oct. 11 by which Kirkpatrick fielded questions and promised to be a good and unbiased chief whereas addressing issues with officer morale.

“I might be all in on all the pieces related to the security of this metropolis,” Kirkpatrick mentioned Thursday.

First investigation

She shortly started working. Hours after her affirmation, she introduced that there can be a Public Integrity Bureau investigation into the division’s response to an arson at 4911 America Avenue a day earlier that killed three children.

Police had been notified of a home disturbance at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday — six minutes after 911 dispatchers answered a name. However no models had been accessible to reply till 12:15 a.m, once they had been dispatched to the house the place a hearth was raging. Police arrived at 12:20 a.m.

“Three children died on this scenario. We do take home violence significantly on this metropolis,” Kirkpatrick mentioned on the media briefing. “We’ve decided collectively that the fitting factor to do is to have a look at our aspect of the response related to the 911 name.”

A historic vote

The Metropolis Council vote was a brand new step within the course of of choosing New Orleans’ police superintendent and different mayoral appointees. Voters accepted a constitution modification final 12 months that gave the council the facility to vote on the selection.

Solely District E Council member Oliver Thomas voted in opposition to Kirkpatrick’s affirmation. He did not touch upon his determination.

On the committee listening to final week, Kirkpatrick mentioned she would proceed current enhancements in hiring effectivity, noting that the size of time it takes NOPD recruits to finish the hiring course of had been minimize almost in half.

She mentioned she would additionally develop native recruitment to neighborhood facilities and town’s three traditionally Black faculties.

She additionally mentioned she would rethink 12-hour patrol shifts, discover the long-discussed concept of including new NOPD districts and consider choices for organizational restructuring.

Kirkpatrick additionally pledged to work independently of the mayor.

“There’s one chief of a division,” Kirkpatrick mentioned. “I cannot be micromanaged”

A controversial search

The listening to final week turned contentious when Thomas prompt that Kirkpatrick’s affirmation gave the impression to be a finished deal earlier than any vote had been tallied. He engaged in a short shouting match with Council President JP Morrell.

Thursday’s vote was comparatively quiet by comparability. Thomas remained silent and Morrell learn from ready remarks, repeating earlier criticisms of the search course of that resulted in Kirkpatrick’s choice.

“There was not an open invitation prolonged to the council to take part within the course of, and the general public actually was not included,” Morrell mentioned, including that he however appreciated Kirkpatrick’s energetic engagement within the affirmation course of.

Cantrell’s nomination of Kirkpatrick was considerably stunning because the mayor, in early public statements, appeared to choose Woodfork and gave her the job on an interim foundation. The everlasting job gave the impression to be Woodfork’s to lose.

However Cantrell agreed to calls for from the Metropolis Council and others to conduct a nationwide search, which was carried out by the Worldwide Affiliation of Chiefs of Police. It drew criticism from some Metropolis Council members for what they mentioned was lack of transparency.

Council members had been additionally underwhelmed with six semifinalists chosen by the police chief group, together with Woodfork, who many assumed would win the nod.

Morrell quipped in July that the method appeared like “an orchestrated effort to make it possible for our native middleweight is just combating lightweights.”

However Cantrell pointedly distanced herself from any notion that the selection was predetermined, and a panel of civic leaders and elected officers really useful in opposition to Woodfork, citing her want for extra expertise.

In the meantime, Woodfork gained over beforehand skeptical Metropolis Council members throughout her interim tenure. Cantrell’s nomination of Kirkpatrick “actually did come as a shock,” Council Vice President Helena Moreno mentioned on the committee listening to.

“(Woodfork) appeared to have been an apparent selection,” Moreno mentioned.

Nonetheless, Moreno and different council members acknowledged their process was to guage Cantrell’s nominee, and so they had been typically supportive of Kirkpatrick, who mentioned she is going to retain Woodfork in a management place.

The exception was Thomas, who most popular Woodfork and echoed impassioned public feedback that Woodfork was preferable to an outsider.

In a press release issued after Thursday’s vote, Kirkpatrick mentioned she desires to “join with everybody I presumably can to listen to your issues and concepts.”

“I wish to guarantee the residents of this glorious metropolis that I’m now part of your group,” Kirkpatrick mentioned. “That is my dwelling.”


(c)2023 The Instances-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate

Go to The Instances-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate at www.nola.com

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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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