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Everypolice officer in this city accepts a herculean personal and professional task--the Superintendent perhaps most of all. Ronal Serpas took on a deeply complex and difficult job when he agreed to transform the NOPD. He arrived here at a disadvantage, given his past with the department. This being said, Mr. Serpas has not managed to rise above this past, nor chart a viable new path toward safety in New Orleans. In particular, we have found the following actions and approaches to be counter-productive to achieving a safe city:
Mr. Serpas has demonstrated both a personal and a professional inability to break the decades-old cycle of corruption plaguing the NOPD. In addition, Mr. Serpas lacks a clear strategy for collaborating with cultural organizations in the city, and has increasingly reduced resources to support victims of violent crime while simultaneously releasing information that portrays the victims as somehow deserving of their fate (prior arrest records, sexual activity, etc).
New Orleans is at a crossroads, and the direction taken by our leaders at this juncture will speak volumes about their commitment to hear and to serve the citizens of this city. Morale within the NOPD is at a nadir, with even the most dedicated officers struggling to find motivation and support for their work. More than a distraction, the current crisis in the NOPD is actively dangerous. The community is calling for Mayor Landrieu to provide leadership, to stand up for us and the painful realities of violence in our streets and homes.
On March 24, 2010 Mayor-Elect Mitch Landrieu promised the citizens and residents of the City of New Orleans that he would appoint a police chief who will inspire confidence in the community and in the department. He appointed Ronal Serpas as NOPD Superintendent in May, 2010. We, the undersigned, do hereby declare that we have
in the ability of current NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas to make New Orleans safe or to seriously address the murders and violent crime that continue to devastate our community. We have no confidence that Mr. Serpas has the ethical judgment and moral compass to change the culture of the NOPD. We are at a crossroads and call upon our Mayor to stand up for us as a community by appointing a police chief who will inspire our confidence, trust, and collaboration. We call upon Mayor Mitch Landrieu immediately to remove Chief Serpas from his position as police chief of the City of New Orleans.
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