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NEW ORLEANS -- Lt. Michael Harrison will be stepping in as Interim Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department after Chief Ronal Serpas announced his retirement Monday.

Harrison has served in the New Orleans Police Department for over 23 years and prior to his being named Interim Superintendent, Harrison most recently held the position of Commander for the 7th District in New Orleans since January 2012.

'Commander Harrison has demonstrated strong, community-focused leadership during his tenure as Seventh District Commander. During this transition, I am confident he will be able to scale the focus on building trust with the community citywide to improve public safety,' said Mayor Landrieu.

According to the mayor's office, under Harrison's watch, the 7th District experienced crime reductions in 2012 and 2013. He helped craft and testified in favor of a piece of legislation to enable better enforcement of prostitution and solicitation, which was a major problem in the district.

From January 2011 to 2012, he served as Commander of the Special Investigations Division in which he managed the narcotics, vice, criminal intelligence and gang enforcement units of NOPD.

Harrison began with NOPD in 1991, serving in various capacities and districts, and he spent nearly a decade within the NOPD's Public Integrity Bureau.

Prior to joining the NOPD, Harrison served eight years with the Louisiana Air National Guard.

He received a Bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Phoenix in 2006 and a Masters of Criminal Justice from Loyola University in 2008.

Harrison, a resident of Algiers, also serves as an ordained minister and the overseer of ministry operations at City of Love Church in New Orleans.

'I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to help lead this department through this transition. I believe policing is one of the noblest professions. The men and women of this department put their lives on the line each and every day. Public safety is at the core of our city, intersecting with quality of life, education, economic development and community pride, so we must continue to work to improve the relationship between NOPD and our community and will continue to make our streets safer,' said Harrison.

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