New Orleans police superintendent retires amid controversy in America's murder capital

Shaun Ferguson is leaving at a delicate time for the department as New Orleans recently overtook St. Louis as the country's murder capital

Amid mounting pressure, New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson will retire from his position at the end of this year, according to a statement from Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

"The City of New Orleans will soon bid farewell to a great leader, a great partner and a great friend. After 24 years of dedicated public service to the City of New Orleans, Superintendent Shaun Ferguson will retire at the end of this year. He gave this city his very best – the safety and wellbeing of each and every resident and visitor was always his top priority," Cantrell said in a statement on Tuesday.

NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson is retiring after nearly four years at the helm of the police department, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Tuesday.

NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson is retiring after nearly four years at the helm of the police department, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Ferguson was named chief by Cantrell in January 2019 to replace outgoing Chief Michael Harrison, who had accepted the job as police chief in Baltimore. 

City Council Vice President J.P. Morrell called for Ferguson’s resignation last week as the council worked to approve the city’s $1.5 billion budget, where $25 million would go toward a police recruitment and retention incentive package.

NEW ORLEANS INMATES BARRICADE THEMSELVES IN POD, MAKE DEMANDS INCLUDING BOOKS, TV TO WATCH SAINTS 

"You can repair the hull of the Titanic over and over, but if the captain keeps driving it into an iceberg, nothing will change," Morrell said.

Morrell is one of many in New Orleans who are upset with the direction the "Big Easy" is taking under Cantrell's leadership in light of a recent spike in crime and criticism of Cantrell's travel spending.

"The resignation of Chief Ferguson marks another loss to the New Orleans Police Department, a department that continues to hemorrhage amidst record-breaking crime in the city," Bayou Mama Bears founder Laura Cannizzaro Rodrigue told Fox News Digital. "Chief Ferguson accepted this position while the NOPD was under a federal consent decree, a decree that remains in place, continues to cripple the department, and will be remembered as one of the greatest failures to our city. The Mayor will now appoint a new police chief, but until the federal consent decree is removed, we are merely rearranging furniture on the Titanic."

NEW ORLEANS MAYOR LATOYA CANTRELL ALLEGEDLY LIVING IN POSH CITY-OWNED APARTMENT, NOT PAYING RENT

In September 2022, New Orleans overtook St. Louis as the murder capital of America as the city sees a 141% increase in homicides when compared to recent years.

According to data from the Metropolitan Crime Commission, an organization that tracks crime and also tries to bring it down, there have been 52 homicides per 100,000 residents as of Sept. 11, 2022.

In St. Louis, there have been almost 45 homicides per 100,000 residents as of Sept. 17, according to data from the St. Louis Police Department. By comparison, there have been almost 18 homicides in Chicago per 100,000 residents and 3.5 in New York City.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Fox News Digital has reached out to Ferguson and Morrell for comment. 

Fox News' Jasmine Baehr and Adam Sabes contributed to this report.