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New Orleans police chief Shaun Ferguson will retire at end of year

New Orleans Superintendent of Police Shaun Ferguson
The Historic New Orleans Collection
New Orleans Superintendent of Police Shaun Ferguson

NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson will retire at the end of the month, according to a press release from the mayor’s office on Tuesday.

“After 24 years of dedicated public service to the City of New Orleans, Superintendent Shaun Ferguson will retire at the end of this year. He gave this city his very best – the safety and well-being of each and every resident and visitor was always his top priority," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell in a statement.

Ferguson, who was tapped to lead the department in 2019 after more than two decades on the force, faced several key challenges as police chief. Like many big cities, New Orleans has experienced sharp increases in violent crime – notably homicides and carjackings – during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The police department, which has been under a federal consent decree since 2012, has also struggled hiring and retaining officers. During Ferguson’s tenure, NOPD staffing issues have resulted in slower response times to crime and problems with holding Carnival parades.

According to, Ferguson said in an emailed statement that it was "time to take a step back and place more priority on my family and my own well-being.”

The Cantrell administration did not announce a successor for Ferguson on Tuesday.Under a new amendment to the city charter that was approved by voters in November, the mayor’s department heads – including police superintendent – must be approved by the council. But the law doesn’t kick in until Jan.1.

Patrick Madden joined WWNO in 2019 as its first-ever Regional News Director, overseeing news reporting at WWNO, as well as our partner station WRKF Baton Rouge. Madden also serves as one of the hosts of Louisiana Considered, and co-hosts Friday's Politics Roundtable on Louisiana Considered with Stephanie Grace, columnist for The Times-Picayune | The Advocate.

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