ronal serpas

Danny Monteverde / New Orleans Advocate

This story has been updated.

Ronal Serpas, the Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department brought in by Mayor Mitch Landrieu in 2010 as part of a series of sweeping changes to city government in the post-Katrina and post-Nagin eras, announced his retirement at a packed press conference Monday morning.

Crime in New Orleans dropped nearly eight percent in the last quarter of 2012, and by one percent for the year overall, according to numbers released today by the New Orleans Police Department.

Murders and rapes dropped by 18 percent in the last quarter of 2012, armed robberies by 32 percent, auto theft by nearly 34 percent, burglaries by more than 13 percent, and simple robberies by more than two percent. however, instances of assault were up 16 percent, and thefts were up more than four percent.

New Orleans’ mayor and police chief have issued statements in support of President Obama’s plan to strengthen gun control. Mayor Mitch Landrieu is urging Congress to go further in broadening the scope of crime reduction.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas is defending a department policy that has led to more than 70,000 people having their names and personal information fed into an electronic database following traffic and pedestrian stops even if they weren't arrested.

Serpas tells The Times-Picayune that officers are "utilizing judgment in accordance with law and professional practice" in filling out "field interview cards" after stopping and questioning people.

But the newspaper reports that it's unclear how many names may have been improperly entered into the database.

The New Orleans Police Department's traffic division will conduct a sobriety checkpoint tonight in the "Uptown area," the department said in a news release.

The checkpoint will begin at approximately 9 p.m., and last until about 5 a.m. Friday morning. In addition to a lack of alcohol, police are advising motorists to have proper documentation if stopped, including proof of insurance and a driver's license.

"I would like to remind all drivers to always drink responsibly and use a designated driver," Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said in the release.

New Orleans police have apprehended a man suspected of killing an officer.
Janet Wilson / WWNO

The public’s trust in the post-Katrina New Orleans Police Department is still a fragile commodity. But the men in blue and their leadership are attempting to re-engage the communities they serve.

The city’s death toll has fallen dramatically over the past year, even as the number of other violent crimes has skyrocketed, according to statistics just released by the New Orleans Police Department.

The total number of murders in the first three months of the year dropped sharply, from 62 in 2011 to 45 this year, a decline of over 27 percent. The burglary rate slid over 16 percent during the same period.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says he needs the public to keep tipping investigators to the whereabouts Bobby Troy, suspected of killing Slidell optometrist Brent Hachfeld last month in a French Quarter robbery.