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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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New Orleans' police chief announces retirement

New Orleans' police chief announces retirement

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Ronald Serpas is leaving after four years as New Orleans police superintendent and 25 years in the city, saying at a news conference Monday that he has a new job but not revealing what that is.

Serpas has come under fire from officers upset by changes to rules for off-duty work and to disciplinary policies that sent scores of officers out of the department. Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the interim chief will be 7th District Commander Michael Harrison.

Serpas joined the department in 1980. He was police chief in Nashville, Tennessee, when he returned to New Orleans in 2010 as superintendent.

His appointment was announced one day after Landrieu asked the U.S. Justice Department to send a team to help reorganize a department under several federal investigations, including those into shooting deaths of unarmed civilians in the days after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Though the 156 homicides in New Orleans last year was the lowest in decades, recent mass shootings have the city upset. Those included one in the French Quarter that killed one man and injured nine, and one in the Lower 9th Ward that killed two people and wounded five, including a mother and her two sons, ages 2 and 4.

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