Mayor-elect Cantrell will keep current police and fire chiefs

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Mayor-elect Latoya Cantrell will be sworn into office Monday, becoming the city's first female mayor. And she has decided to keep two of Mayor Mitch Landrieu's public safety leaders.

Cantrell announced Wednesday that she has faith in NOPD Supt. Michael Harrison and his counterpart in city government, Fire Department Supt. Tim McConnell.

Cantrell said during the campaign and after winning the election by a landslide that she would look internally and across the country for her police chief. That turned out not to be the case.

"In regards to a police chief, as well as fire chief, there was no national search for this on the front end. We will ensure that benchmarks and evaluations will be conducted as they should, but I am definitely confident in the leadership of the New Orleans Police Department, of course, as well as the New Orleans Fire Department," said Cantrell.

Chief Harrison indicated before the election that he hoped to retain his job as the city's top cop.

"I'm excited and I'm honored and I'm proud to be part of the history that has been made here. I'm also proud to continue the great work that our men and women have been doing to keep up the progress that we've made in bringing violent crime down and then building and improving community relations," Harrison said.

"In terms of our top priorities, of course public safety is indeed and in fact the top. We have discussed benchmarks," said Cantrell.

Cantrell also named Collin Arnold as Dir. of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness; Dr. Emily Nichols as EMS and Medical Director for the city; and Tenisha Stevens as Criminal Justice Commissioner.

Cantrell said she has "paused" consideration of former NOPD Supt. Warren Riley because of community concerns.

Earlier in the day Cantrell met with Gov. John Bel Edwards. He said he wants to have a good rapport with the incoming mayor.

"So I look forward to having that continued relationship with the mayor of New Orleans, and we're going to work together so that we can advance our common interests and make sure that we move the city and the state forward."

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