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Cantrell seeks input from city council on next police chief

Mayor Cantrell sent a letter to the council members asking them for suggestions and/or ideas on the replacement for Shaun Ferguson.

NEW ORLEANS — With concern swirling that New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell may try to push through a new police superintendent without city council approval, the mayor sent out a letter to council members asking for their input.

Superintendent Shaun Ferguson's last day is December 22. If Mayor Cantrell selects a successor before January 1, they would not have to go through a new city council approval process that voters recently approved.

Any appointment after January 1 would need the council's approval.

"As we move forward, we have an opportunity to engage in a dialog about the next superintendent," says Cantrell in the letter. "As such, please allow this letter to served as an invitation to meet with each of you to discuss your ideas and suggestions around who could replace Chief Ferguson."

She goes on to ask for suggestions, and/or ideas, by December 16, 2022. She says she is available to meet prior to Ferguson's ceremonial Final Walk on December 22. 

Ferguson said earlier this week that he believes a good choice for the next superintendent can be found among the current members of the department, while others, including at least one council member, have called for a national search, which could include current members of the department. 

"We need a transparent, national search for a qualified and innovative leader to helm this beleaguered Ne Orleans Police Department," said a memo from Councilman J.P. Morrell. "All are welcome to apply, including existing NOPD leaders who meet that criteria, but we cannot afford to limit the pool to those within the department."

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