NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The New Orleans Police Department and Mayor Cantrell are calling in backup from New York to keep the residents and tourists in the Crescent City safe. For the next six months, former NYPD Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo will be in town overseeing operations and implementing ideas for a better force.

In a letter written on Wednesday, Ferguson tells the department’s officers that he and Mayor Cantrell have visited all NOPD districts and have been listening to the concerns of those on the force. The chief adds that he acknowledges how much work needs to be done in order to create a safer city while supporting the men and women in blue.

Furguson later highlighted that Mayor Cantrell has acted to speed up the conclusion of the Consent Decree, describing the positive light it shined on the NOPD. According to the letter, the NOPD has reportedly become an example for other police departments to learn “on-street interventions that deliver constitutional policing.”

While in New Orleans, Pichardo, alongside another former NYPD chief, will evaluate NOPD operations for three purposes

  • Improve officer safety–making sure there are enough cops on the street to back each other up and keep each other safe in any situation that confronts them.
  • Improve our crime-reduction capabilities.
  • Improve response times for serious crimes, especially crimes in progress.  All these things are important to retention and, ultimately, recruiting

Ferguson says Chief Fausto Pichardo will also be acting as consulting Chief of Operations implementing already identified recommendations, while he is in town but will also train his replacement in the meantime.

Following the announcement, Mayor Cantrell commented on the initiative, saying that this effort will make officers safer on the job and that she and Ferguson are in a lockstep surrounding the need to reduce crime in the city.

Read Ferguson’s full email to the NOPD:

“Team:

As many of you know, the Mayor and I visited all Districts, SOD, and Bureau roll calls and listened to police officers from all over the city.  She and I concluded that a number of actions need to be taken to support the hardworking men and women of NOPD who come to work every day committed to keeping the people of New Orleans safe.  


As you probably have heard, the Mayor has taken action to speed the conclusion of the Consent Decree, while recognizing that it has done some good for our department in its earlier years.  It was during this period, for example, that we became the department that other police agencies looked to learn on-street interventions that deliver constitutional policing.   


We also asked for a rapid 10-day assessment by two NYPD former chiefs to look at our operations for three purposes.  I wanted them to help us 1) improve officer safety–making sure there are enough cops on the street to back each other up and keep each other safe in any situation that confronts them; 2) improve our crime-reduction capabilities; and 3) improve response times for serious crimes, especially crimes in progress.  All these things are important to the retention and, ultimately, recruiting. 


I have asked Fausto Pichardo, a former NYPD Chief of Patrol, to help us for as long as six months implement their recommendations many of which we had already identified.  He will be doing this as a consulting Chief of Operations and will train his permanent replacement during this period. 
Let me clarify what will happen during this period of time and what will not. First, my team will remain my team.  There may be different roles and responsibilities for some but the mission and vision are the same. 


Second, even so, we will look at restructuring and redeploying our department to best serve the purposes of officer safety, crime-fighting, and better service to the residents and visitors of our city.   
Third, Chief Pichardo will begin working with us today to ascertain exactly where our full-duty cops are and how they might soon be reorganized to achieve the purposes I have set. 


Please cooperate with Chief Pichardo as my representative in these matters during the months that he is here.   


And, above all, stay safe and keep each other safe on every watch you work.   

Sincerely,
Superintendent Shaun D. Ferguson”