Mister Mayor, members of the Council, members of the search committee,
distinguished guests, friends, family and the men and women of the New
Orleans Police Department… in the words of Satchmo, “I KNOW WHAT IT
MEANS TO MISS NEW ORLEANS,”
Thank you for this opportunity, and this challenge, to come home and
serve again. Nine years ago we were called away – today we have been
As I reflected upon the words of Mayor Landrieu’s inaugural speech,
his vision and understanding of the challenges and opportunities that
lie ahead is clear.
His words should lift us all, both the Community and those of us in
the New Orleans Police Department who serve with pride and dignity.
“There is nothing broken that cannot be fixed. No problem here that
cannot be solved.”
Today I call upon each member of the New Orleans Police Department to
reflect upon why you chose to serve in the most noble profession on
the planet. Today I call upon each of you to lift up your spirit, to
renew your dedication and to reconnect with the emotions that ran deep
in your heart and soul when you chose to join…when you chose to
serve. Make no mistake - we are here to serve and I look forward to
our service together.
Today we rededicate the New Orleans Police Department and all of its
members to the call to serve our community. Today we remind ourselves
that it is community first. Today we reaffirm our commitment to one
another to pursue valor and determination – professionalism and
Today we call upon all the neighborhoods and communities of New
Orleans to help us to serve. We, the police, have always been and
always will be an extension of you, the community we serve. In our
earliest days we stood as watchman together for one another. Over
time and history we created police departments to stand watch for us
all. It is time to reconnect the two: as we stand watch for you, we
will together watch over one another.
Today we know that there are many challenges that face us, but also
know that we can build upon our successes, one step at a time. We
must remember that each time we are called to assist, each time we
confront crime and the horrible hold it has upon our friends,
families, businesses and guests, that we have the opportunity to make
Making a difference every day is what policing is all about. Being
there when a motorist is stranded, working hand in hand with our
communities every day to take back our streets so that children,
parents and grandparents can enjoy their front yards.
Or, as my grandparents would say, play on the “neutral ground,” or to
walk along the “banquette,” never forgetting to stop at the “curbin”
before crossing the street.
As any New Orleanian knows, it is not North, South, East and West…it
is Uptown, Downtown, River and Lake. We must and we will win back
every neighborhood, one street at a time from all four points on the
New Orleans compass.
Our recipe will be simple and straightforward; we will use the
Community Policing Philosophy as implemented through Decentralized
District based commands to fully implement our Crime Fighting and
Quality of Life initiatives
Our first priority, every day, will be to relentlessly, legally and
professionally pursue those who would do violence. Beginning
tomorrow, I will convene a conference call of District Commanders as
well as the Homicide and Sex Crimes Commanders get a full briefing on
the prior 24 hours of any violent crime in our city. The briefing by
these Commanders will focus not on what crime happened - it will focus
on what do we know, what have we done and what will we do about those
To those who choose violence in our City, let there be no mistake
about this: we will not rest, we will not waver, we will not lose
focus, and we will not blink.
Community Policing provides for INDIVIDUALIZED police service
throughout the diverse communities of New Orleans.
All neighborhoods are not the same; each Neighborhood deserves a
police response tailored to its needs – that is what Community
Community Policing provides the framework for PRIORITIZED PROBLEM
SOLVING with our neighborhoods, as well as a DIRECT ACCOUNTABILITY
LINK between the New Orleans Police Department and the community
Community Policing ties this all together. The outcomes of our
partnership and problem solving must be relentlessly followed up by
the leadership of our police department to ensure the entire New
Orleans Police Department is focused.
Building communities is perfectly matched to Community Policing
When people are safe they enjoy their neighborhood AND become MORE
When people are SAFE, they use our schools.
When people are SAFE, they boost our economy.
To accomplish our goals, we will instill three basic principles in our
daily service to this great city. Accountability, Transparency and
Collaboration. It is my expectation and my promise that the
application of these three principles will allow us to fix what is
broken, to restore public confidence in the New Orleans Police
Department and make this city SAFE.
My expectation of service by our team is also as simple and
straightforward: Truthfulness and Ethical Behavior – there will be NO
tolerance for deviation.
Professional treatment of our citizens in every encounter, be it a
call for service, a warrant to be served, an arrest to be made or a
vehicle stop to be conducted, throughout this community. This same
courteous and professional behavior will be equally expected with our
partners in the District Attorney’s Office, throughout the Criminal
Justice system, and with one another. This is our BASIC DUTY and it
We will expect no less than a full day’s effort each and every day.
One Superintendent cannot do it alone, we will require and expect
supervisors to supervise, which ensures our team is accountable for
its actions or inactions.
Our Public Integrity Bureau and department will reflect and respect
the joint efforts of the City's Inspector General and the Independent
We will build and strengthen our partnerships with the FBI and U.S.
Attorney to seek out and prosecute corrupt officers.
It is true that we cannot have enough sunlight and candor.
I unequivocally support the call by Mayor Landrieu to the Department
of Justice and look forward to working hand in hand with Federal
Our weekly Comstat meetings will be OPEN to the public beginning next
Likewise, District Commanders are also instructed to open their weekly
Comstat meetings to the public and other partners in their crime
fighting and community building efforts.
It is just plain right to include any and all who want to witness the
tremendous effort, dedication and focus of our leadership teams and
the officers and staff they represent as they work to make our City
We want to document an accurate crime rate as our first priority.
Nationwide 50% of crime is unreported – in Nashville we achieved
through our efforts the public reporting approximately 80% of crime.
We will build and strengthen our partnerships with the FBI and U.S.
Attorney to seek out and prosecute corrupt officers. We must restore
our citizens' trust and confidence to report crime.
Our measure of success is day to day, month to month, and year to year
and we must work every day to achieve that success.
I will call for an immediate audit of our crime reporting mechanisms
by state and federal authorities.
I will call for an immediate partnership with educational institutions
to evaluate our computer systems that capture and report our crime
We will immediately reevaluate the training of officers and
supervisors in preparing police investigative reports and the proper
classifying of those crime reports.
We will immediately being crafting and implementing monthly audit
We will open for public inspection and regular review our crime
reporting systems and data by external parties.
Collaborating and cooperating with the people of New Orleans is
everyone’s responsibility and IT STARTS with me.
Collaborating and cooperating with the Criminal Justice System at the
local, state and federal levels is everyone’s responsibility and IT
STARTS with me.
Collaborating and cooperating with the political systems, local, state
and federal is everyone’s responsibility and IT STARTS with me.
Collaborating and cooperating with the media is everyone’s
responsibility and IT STARTS with me.
As we look to the future, I know that many challenges remain. But,
working hand and hand with all of our communities and neighborhoods,
we can make a difference.
As we look to the future, I know that there are countless dedicated
professional men and women of the New Orleans Police Department, and
working hand in hand we will make a difference.
Mr. Mayor: My family and I have returned…we have come home to New
Orleans because we believe its best days are ahead and we want to be
part of that future! Thank you, and this city, for the opportunities
our home provides.
Superintendent Ronal W. Serpas
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