The retirement of NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas signals a new era at NOPD. And that's the topic of this week's Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

NEW ORLEANS -- Ronal Serpas's decision to retire was no surprise. For many reasons, it was time for a change at the top of NOPD.

Serpas was hired to transform the department. That's not easy in an organization whose members carry badges and guns.

As chief, Serpas helped implement a sweeping federal consent decree, and with the feds' help he got rid of some bad cops. Officer morale is low, but public confidence in NOPD improved under Serpas. Most important, New Orleans' murder rate went down significantly in the last two years.

Much work remains to be done, and one man can only do so much. After the citywide elections in February, the time was right for the mayor to re-evaluate all his department heads, including Serpas.

Interim Superintendent Michael Harrison represents a generational change at NOPD. At age 45, he's a police veteran, but he also has experience as a leader, having served as commander of the vast 7th District in eastern New Orleans.

As NOPD's transformation continues, Chief Harrison deserves the chance to earn the support of his fellow officers and the public.


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