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Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
Email: aharris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @antwanharris

NEW ORLEANS -- Superintendent Harrison issued his charge to his new commanders and the NOPD, to engage the community more. This comes on top of hiring more officers and dealing with a very strict consent decree.

Harrison addressed a packed room at a morning comstat meeting saying the first order of business is to restore the relationship with the people of the city.

It's a bond Harrison says has been strained for quite some time.

'We are going to bridge this gap between the NOPD and our community. We are going to address their needs and how we can help solve the issues and we need to understand what we go through. They can help us be better at what we do.'

Of the promotions, Veteran Robert Bardy was promoted to Deputy Superintendent of Field Operations.

Ronnie Stevens was promoted to commander of the NOPD 6th District, and Lawrence Dupree was promoted to commander of the 7th District.

Harrison says the new additions to the leadership team still have their hands full with recruiting, consent decree guidelines, and lifting morale in a department that is seriously understaffed.

'Together as a leadership team, each of them will have their responsibilities and collectively, that is how we want to go about getting it done. I have confidence they are the best right now for those positions.'

Mayor Mitch Landrieu was also in attendance. He charged the force to start fresh and give the new chief a chance to earn their respect.

'For those that were not happy with the department, it is time for them to reset. For those that were, it is time for them to recommit so we can be one team. That is is goal of this. We can't have people going in five different directions.'

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