NEW ORLEANS When Ronal Serpas took over the New Orleans Police Department in 2010, it was a group that had come off the tracks. Morale was down, crime was up and the NOPD was still smarting from a series of questionable post-Katrina shootings.
Serpas spent a few minutes at his retirement announcement to talk about the accomplishments under his leadership.
'We've beefed up the homicide unit. We've created a multi-agency gang unit and we stand today, now after 2013 and into this year with the lowest recorded numbers (of homicides), potentially, historically in the city of New Orleans.'
Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who tabbed Serpas for the job, was full of praise for the man stepping down.
'This city and this police department is in much, much better shape than it was four years ago,' he said. 'I thank you for your continued service. I have enjoyed working with you.'
Michael Harrison, who had been the commander of the Seventh District, was named as the interim superintendent.
Harrison is a 23-year veteran of the NOPD, a former investigator with the public integrity bureau investigator and a member of the National Guard.
'I take on this new opportunity with the heart of service and unwavering commitment to the security and protection of every neighborhood in this city.'
Serpas has been hired to teach in the Department of Criminal Justice at Loyola University.
'Mayor Landrieu and I both knew my job was to rebuild the department,' said Serpas. 'I was always preparing to retire, and now is the time and I'm glad to be able to retire.'