Ian Auzenne, WWL Radio

September 11, 2023

Anne Kirkpatrick is Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s choice to become the next superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department.

Cantrell’s nomination became known early Monday and was confirmed by Metropolitan Crime Commission president/CEO Raphael Goyeneche. He told WWL’s Newell Normand that he’s not surprised by the choice.

“I also have given it some thought, and I think that in light of several things that we’ve seen happen, I think it was going to be very, very difficult for the mayor to have nominated Michelle Woodfork as the next superintendent and have that confirmed by the New Orleans City Council.”

Woodfork has served as the NOPD’s interim superintendent since December 2022, when former chief Shaun Ferguson retired from the force. In August, Woodfork told the media she was a “shoo-in” for the job, despite a search panel that reviewed her qualifications saying that she would need a mentor if she were to have the interim tag removed.

Goyeneche says the poor relationship between Cantrell and the city council may have forced Cantrell to select Kirkpatrick over Woodfork.

“The mayor was attributed with saying that Michelle Woodfork, in her opinion, was the most qualified person for this job,” Goyeneche said. “The mayor realized that she was probably lacking some votes that she thought maybe she had before the Pontalba. So, I think that is something that probably factored into the mayor’s decision to deviate from her announced frontrunner.”

Goyeneche also noted that the city charter amendment that took effect in January requiring the city council to confirm the city’s police superintendent may have played a role in Cantrell’s decision.