Today, Mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu announced that he had whittled down his choices for next NOPD superintendent to two but did not name them. A source with knowledge of the interview process has told The Lens that the two are current Nashville chief and former NOPD Deputy Ronal Serpas and current East Palo Alto top cop and longtime Oakland Captain Ronald Davis. The candidate eliminated was John Harrington, currently the chief in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The administration has not released a reason for eliminating Harrington as a candidate but told The Times-Picayune that he has “come to some conclusions about one of them in terms of being certain that I’m not interested.”
The two remaining options, Davis and Serpas, present clear choice between outsider and insider.
Davis is seen as an up-and-coming public servant and is also a finalist to head the police force in Seattle. He was a longtime veteran of Oakland’s police force before taking over in East Palo Alto and helped lead federal intervention teams in Detroit and Washington. He is known for his studies of racial profiling and is experience implementing community policing programs in communities with checkered relationships with local authorities. The Times-Picayune published a memo on Davis earlier today.
Before going on to lead Nashville, Serpas has a long record of service with the NOPD, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He rose to become second in commend under Superintendent Richard Pennington, helping to implement reforms that successfully cut the local crime rate during the 1990s. (Update: Check out the T-P’s bio on Serpas here)
A final decision is not expected until sometime next week.