Police chief takes New Orleans job

Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 10:45am

Metro police Chief Ronal Serpas officially announced he will give up his post in Nashville for the role of police superintendent of the New Orleans.

The announcement came Thursday at an 11 a.m. news conference with Mayor Karl Dean at Belmont University. At the same time, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced his selection at a news conference of his own.

Serpas said he would remain on duty in Nashville during this critical time for the city to continue to serve on what he called the “best police department in America.”

“I will be here for the next several days to make sure this transition is smooth,” Serpas said. “My heart and soul is with Nashville during this flood.”

On his time in Nashville, the chief said, “This has been the greatest experience of my life.”

But heading to New Orleans, where Serpas spent 21 years on its police force, he said, “The opportunity to use a lifetime of friendships that I’ve developed in the community to advance my hometown and one of the grandest cities in America is something that we feel called to do.”

Deputy Chief Steve Anderson will serve as interim chief until Dean chooses a permanent replacement for Serpas — a task the mayor said had no “arbitrary deadline” and would proceed thoughtfully and deliberately.

“I see a lot of potential chiefs,” Dean said of the search for Serpas’ replacement, adding that he had a “deep bench” to choose from but that the next police chief of Nashville could come from outside of the department as well.

Serpas beat out Ronald Davis, police chief of East Palo Alto, Calif., who was the other finalist for the New Orleans job.

Serpas became Nashville’s chief of police in January 2004 and has overseen a drop in major crime over six consecutive years. Serpas became known for his statistical approach to fighting crime and an increase in community involvement with the police department.


19 Comments on this post:

By: dangerlover on 5/6/10 at 8:58

Let me be the first to ask you not to let the door hit you on the way out, chief Serpas. I understand that your ass is incredibly large, and that this might be a challenge, but please do your best.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/6/10 at 8:58

i wonder who will take his place.

By: dgallent on 5/6/10 at 9:14

From the depths of the storm is a ray of sunshine...Good riddance.....now maybe our policemen can fight crime instead of writing traffic tickets.......this is great news for Nashville .....

By: sharko20 on 5/6/10 at 10:27

Be sure not to leave your derelict son behind in Nashville when you move to New Orleans!

By: localboy on 5/6/10 at 10:59

Good luck and continued success...

By: trtay2004 on 5/6/10 at 11:20

Thanks Mr. Serpas for fighting crime in my neighborhood. I know YOU were the main person that helped to keep drug dealers and crime off my streets. Thanks and continued good luck in your fight against crime. You deserve this big promotion. It truly shows how great of a battle you have fought.

By: richgoose on 5/6/10 at 11:35

I am so very thankful that this fellow (Serpas) is leaving. I can only hope that Karl Dean is defeated in the next election.

By: dangerlover on 5/6/10 at 2:59

localboy and trtay2004, do you guys really not care that this guy's main crime fighting policy was to hand out more traffic tickets in the hope of catching other crimes in progress? Nevermind that the immdeiate effect is that the citizens are effectively taxed more (I was given a ticket for 34 in an unmarked 30...can't say it was my fault)...the more appropriate concern is that this douchebag basically ignored our 4th amendment rights to be safe from illegal search and seizure. Several judges have written opinions stating that this practice, while within the letter of the law laid out in the Constitution, is contrary to the spirit of said law.

By: WickedTribe on 5/6/10 at 5:31

Good luck Slurpass.

And why do people only speak about tickets for speeding? You know what I get tickets for? Having a headlight out, merging into a turning lane when the dividing line is solid instead of divided, crossing too many lanes of the road too quickly, and more I've probably already forgotten. I don't get tickets for speeding, I get harassed for being on the road.

By: skank ludlow on 5/6/10 at 5:31

As in the old country song..."Thank God and Greyhound he's gone"

By: idgaf on 5/6/10 at 9:22

Daron Hall should be on the short list.

By: yogiman on 5/7/10 at 7:16

Question to the prior comments; why were so many tickets written if they weren't deserved?

Congratulations, Chief. May God bless you and good luck on your new job. Keep up the good work.

By: idgaf on 5/7/10 at 7:48

To produce revenue yogi. I know of someone that got a ticket and was found guilty of something that wasn't even a violation.

Face it we have crooks and unethical people in this city and state.

They need to be in jail not sitting in judgement of others.

By: pswindle on 5/7/10 at 8:59

This gives the mayor a chance to pick a local. I just bet that Nashville has a lot of good men that is more than able to serve. Let's give it a try.

By: Kosh III on 5/7/10 at 9:38

Choose a local.

Why waste thousands of dollars for a "consultant" or search firm? Doesn't Metro have a personnel office to do this? Are there no good people on the force now?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/7/10 at 9:51

i agree. i'd like to see a local person take his place.

By: Electric Larry on 5/7/10 at 11:58

Thank you God, Great creator of the Universe and Music City USA. Who the hell says prayer isn't answered? Now, the next thing is for HIM to send someone intelligent to us instead of the likes of Ronal, supercop, engineer of the “best police department in America.” We'll see how HE does with that one.

I for one am very tired of Ronal's oppressive police atmosphere reeking of 'Bedford County Regulators' red-neck-ism. You know, shit runs downhill.

By: Jazzpa on 5/7/10 at 2:57

Let us hope his replacement is no worse!

dangerlover, you need to check up on what the "law" is when driving in an "unmarked" area. The speed limit is by default 30M.P.H., check the TN Drivers Handbook! You got the ticket and it WAS your fault.

By: dangerlover on 5/7/10 at 6:36

My mistake. You're absolutely right; I totally deserved a ticket for going 34 in a 30. And actually, for the record, you're wrong. The default limit is 35, but thanks for playing. Moron.