Data News Staff Edited Report
In what at times was a contentious hearing, the New Orleans City Council confirmed Mayor Cantrell ‘s nominee Anne Kirkpatrick on Thursday as the next Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department.
The final vote was 6-1, with Council member Oliver Thomas voting against and Freddie King abstaining.
Why it matters: (BOLD) It’s the first time the City Council has used its new confirmation power in the hiring process for a top administration official.
New Orleans Voters gave the council the power to check top hires last year when they approved a change to the Home Rule Charter, which acts like the city’s constitution.
State of play: Cantrell nominated Kirkpatrick, most recently the Police Chief in Oakland, California, after a national search led by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. For her decision, she did receive some pushback from local leaders and members of the community. Some of them believed Woodfork was better suited to serve as the City’s first female Police Superintendent.
Kilpatrick was sworn in as the Interim Chief on Sept. 22nd, replacing Michelle Woodfork, who had been serving as the Interim NOPD Chief since Shaun Ferguson retired in December.
During these contentious times, several council members previously praised Woodfork who was a finalist for the job. City Council Vice President Helena Moreno said she and others would work to create a permanent, three-star Deputy Chief Position for Woodfork, making her the force’s No. 2 under Kirkpatrick.
The new chief has a large job on her hands in a city plagued with crime. It is a wait-and-see approach many have to see if she was the right choice to lead the NOPD.