Cantrell says she met the city council’s demands in conducting a search for a police chief

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 9:41 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Mayor Latoya Cantrell says she did what the city council wanted in conducting a national search for a new police chief and she says the person she nominated for the job, Anne Kirkpatrick, is a good fit for the police department.

Meanwhile, Council President J.P. Morrell says the council is working to finalize the confirmation process. A charter change approved by voters gives the council the right to confirm the mayor’s picks to lead city departments like the NOPD.

Cantrell addressed her decision to nominate Kirkpatrick during her weekly press briefing.

“Based on the city council’s actions and even their words they pushed for collectively a national search, they pushed down initially local leadership, they talked about the charter amendment, the change that they championed that the public granted. They talked about the confirmation process that they built into that language, they talked about a process that went national to render the best that we could to lead this department,” said Cantrell.

Further, she said, “So, I gave them everything they asked for and that delivered someone that has the experience, that can operate in this toxic environment.”

Council Vice President Helena Moreno issued the following statement:

“I’ve been asked to respond to numerous remarks by the mayor today, but there is too much important work to do for the people of this city than to waste energy engaging in back and forths with everything the mayor says.

I’ll only respond to the issue of confirmation of the Chief of Police. Voters in New Orleans overwhelmingly gave confirmation power to the Council and that has nothing to do with who the mayor selects to nominate for police chief- that decision falls squarely on the mayor.

I was actually surprised and disappointed that Michelle Woodfork was not the nominee to come before us for confirmation. She has worked tremendously well with my office, even formed a working group with my team, and made positive strides in reducing crime. I think she’s done a good job with what she’s inherited.


Former Oakland police chief Anne Kirkpatrick nominated by Cantrell to lead NOPD

NOPD chief candidate Thedrick Andres takes job in San Antonio suburb Cibolo instead

Mayor says David Franklin will rejoin finalists in NOPD chief search

Woodfork’s experience questioned as NOPD chief finalists confirmed to City Council by search team

Vappie hearing concludes, federal judge to issue opinion on NOPD compliance with consent decree

NOPD: Shaun Ferguson sought to restore Vappie to mayor’s team just before retiring

But the mayor chose Anne Kirkpatrick, who will come before us, and as I’ve said before, I look forward to learning more about Kirkpatrick and her plans to make New Orleans a safer city.

I along with the rest of the Council remain committed to spending our time building a safer, more affordable New Orleans and a government truly responsive to the needs of our citizens.”

Morrell says the council could finalize the confirmation process before the end of the week.

“We are still finalizing that as you know the council is really in unchartered territory because the voters granted us this authority, but this is actually our first confirmation procedure. We are currently envisioning, and we’ll have that finalized probably tomorrow but we’re envisioning it being a one-day process.”

And he says the nominee would be able to speak about her ideas for fighting crime and council members would have an opportunity to ask questions. Also, there would be comments from the public.

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