New Orleans, La. – Former New Orleans Police Assistant Superintendent Ronal Serpas didn't attend the news conference to announce his selection. He was in Nashville, dealing with flooding problems. Landrieu says he appreciated the irony, and said the people of New Orleans should be understanding.
"It should, however, make people in New Orleans very comfortable that we're getting a chief that understands emergency operation response."
Landrieu said citizens told his search committee what they wanted, and Serpas fits the description.
"The first and most important was demonstrable success at reducing violent crime in a major urban area. Somebody that understood the culture and the streets of New Orleans but also understood the best practices throughout the country."
Serpas left N-O-P-D in 2001 after 21 years on the force, to lead the Washington State Patrol. He moved to Nashville in 2004 to head that city's police department.
Serpas is returning into a department facing several federal investigations, and a violent crime rate that Landrieu called his top priority to fix.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming