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Mike Perlstein / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas has finally been cleared of a lingering controversy that followed him here from his previous job as the top cop in Nashville.

That city's internal auditor verified crime statistics that showed six straight years of crime reductions. Nashville's mayor requested the audit after a Tennessee television station raised questions about the accuracy of the crime numbers.

'There's always going to be those who do not believe that police can make a difference and they will try to make that point known,' Serpas said. 'And that's fine. I respect that. I respect the Nashville media that took an opposite position. But when the objective analysis is in, I think it's time to move on.'

New Orleans crime stats were the subject of scrutiny when Serpas was deputy chief here in the mid 1990s, but have not led to serious questioning since he became chief last spring.

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