Cantrell Nominates Anne Kirkpatrick to Lead NOPD

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NEW ORLEANS – On Sept. 11, Mayor LaToya Cantrell selected Anne Kirkpatrick to be the next superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department. 

“Following an extensive, nationwide search, I am grateful that Anne Kirkpatrick has accepted the opportunity to lead the New Orleans Police Department and continue improving our city’s public safety through a collaborative, holistic approach,” said Cantrell.

Kirkpatrick has more than 35 years of policing experience. She has been chief of police for two decades. A native of Memphis, Tenn., she served as chief of police in Oakland from 2017 to 2020, when she was fired after clashing with the city’s police commission. 

Anne Kirkpatrick

Anne Kirkpatrick

In 2022, a federal jury awarded the former chief $337,635 in monetary damages, finding she was fired in retaliation for speaking out against what she viewed as corruption within the commission.

Kirkpatrick gets the job that Interim NOPD Superintendent Michelle Woodfork was hoping would be hers. Last month, Woodfork voiced confidence that she’d prevail in the vetting process.

“I think as interim superintendent, I have proven that I am the person for the job. I have community support. I have so much support from the men and women in the New Orleans Police Department, and I am doing the job,” Woodfork told reporters at an NOPD recruitment press conference.

Woodfork’s father, Warren Gene Woodfork, Sr., was NOPD’s first Black superintendent.

Today, Cantrell said she found the right person for the job.

“With over 35 years of experience in law enforcement, coupled with 20 years of leading police departments of even larger municipalities, Kirkpatrick has proven that she is more than capable and has what it takes to now lead the world-class NOPD. The safety and wellbeing of each and every resident and visitor has always been my top priority, and I look forward to the positive path that is ahead for NOPD, under the direction of Ms. Kirkpatrick, as we continue to do our part to protect and serve the residents and visitors of this great city.”  

Prior to her time in Oakland, Kirkpatrick served as bureau chief in Chicago. She also served as chief of police in the cities of Ellensburg, Federal Way and Spokane, all in Washington, as well as serving as undersheriff of the King County Sheriff’s Office. She is a national instructor for the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Association’s Leadership Training Program.

“It is my honor to be the selected candidate to be the next superintendent of police for a world-class city and police department,” said Kirkpatrick. “I look forward to the next phase in the process and commit to being fully transparent. I will dedicate my life and 35 years of experience to serving Mayor Cantrell and the City of New Orleans, as well as the brave men and women of the New Orleans Police Department. Together, we will continue to make meaningful strides in the right direction to reduce crime and keep the residents and visitors of this city safe.” 

The next step in the process is for the City Council to conduct a confirmation process.

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