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Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

NEW ORLEANS -- After the announcement of NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas, supporters and critics came forward with their opinions of the job the police chief had done over the last four years.

People we spoke with about Serpas stepping down feel it's a thankless and difficult job.

'I think it's too bad. He was working toward a desired end and this is a tough environment,' said Bruce Gordon.

'The problem really begins with the kids at home. They have to make sure they have the right home environment. Past that, there's only so much mopping up that the police can do. They've got an unwinnable sort of task,' said George Young.

Others urged the community to keep an open mind.

'If it's a change for the better, I'm all with it. We might be making a mistake but we might be missing out on something better,' said Michael Meyers.

We talked to dozens of people on Poydras and Canal streets who didn't have an opinion one way or the other. But we did talk to a woman who is part of a victims advocacy group who had very strong negative opinions.

'We were being inundated with complaints from actually other officers, which is astounding,' said Tamara Jackson, executive director of Silence is Violence.

She said the group complained to the mayor when Serpas was appointed, saying because of problems in the past, he should not be in a leadership role.

A year or so later, they sent the mayor a petition signed by 3,000 to 5,000 New Orleanians to have him removed.

'It was ignored basically. And you know, we were recommended to give him at least an opportunity to at least perform, and we have, the city has,' she said. 'And look where we are today.'

Jackson points to the crime rate, the number of officers who she says are frustrated and the number that have been reprimanded, the low numbers on the force and the lack of resources.

Now they plan to be just as vocal going forward.

Other people we spoke with say they believe the city is lacking a comprehensive plan to fight crime and the drug and gun violence behind it.

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