NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said he’s leaving the job on his own terms.
Wednesday, he called the decision to retire, “bittersweet.”
“What a day, huh,” Ferguson said. “What a ride.”
Ferguson is retiring after 24 years with the NOPD, the last 4 as top cop.
“It’s time to focus on my family,” he said. “It is time to focus on myself.”
Ferguson is leaving the NOPD at a difficult time.
The city is fighting a post-pandemic surge in violent crime.
The department is also struggling to recruit and retain officers now with fewer than one thousand cops.
While there have been calls for his resignation, Ferguson maintains the timing of his departure is all his.
“I was not forced out,” he said. “This is my decision. I am walking out on my own accord.”
Walking out while encouraging city leaders to put aside their personal agendas.
Ferguson has been a frequent target for some members of the city council.
“Stop this political showmanship,” he said. “Come to the table. Have a conversation. Be grown men. Be grown women. And talk about the issues.”
He also had some advice for the news media.
“Look at the glass half full and not half empty. Your messaging is important.”
Ferguson declined to weigh in on who should succeed him but said all his deputy chiefs are qualified.
He objected to calls for a nationwide search for the next superintendent.
“The best person for the New Orleans Police Department is within the New Orleans Police Department,” he said. “We don’t have to go anywhere to look for anyone to lead this department. We have great men and women who work for this department who can lead this department.”
Ferguson thanked Mayor Latoya Cantrell for the opportunity to serve.
He said it’s time to enjoy life.
“I am not leaving the city to take another job. I will be right here in the city of New Orleans. This is the city that I love, and I will see what life has to offer.”
Superintendent Ferguson says he first mentioned the possibility of retirement with the mayor before the Thanksgiving holiday.
His last day on the job is now expected to be December 22.