NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson has responded to calls for him to resign after City Councilman JP Morrell says he is the wrong person for the job, given the city’s crime problems.

Criticism of NOPD leadership is nothing new. With heightened violent crime, and lawlessness in the streets, there’s enough criticism to go around, but what is new is Superintendent Ferguson responding to the criticism.

“Right now, the state in which our city is in is not the time to point fingers or blame or anything,” Fergusnon told WGNO’s LBJ. “Our elected officials have an oath, so do I, as well as the men and women of this department. We need to figure out a way to work together.”

FULL INTERVIEW

Ferguson is addressing what was said by Councilman-at-Large Morrell in a show on WWL radio on Tuesday. Morrell has long been a critic of the chief and department as he told WGNO in April

“We’ve had weekends where half a dozen people have been, and what that tells the community is there’s a lack of urgency to solve the problem,” Morrell said.

What Ferguson is repeating his call to the council. Not for criticism but more support for the men and women in blue in addition to staffing and retention.

“I think the council can also help with some of the ordinances in place, more specifically the technology and surveillance ordinance,” Ferguson continued. “It does somewhat hinder our ability to address violent crime.”

In the radio interview, Morrell again questioned whether Ferguson should remain as Chief of Police in New Orleans.

“I’m not going anywhere. I can assure you of that. I’m here. I’m in here for the fight. I was born and raised here in New Orleans, so I take this very personally,” said Ferguson.

Mayor Cantrell’s office has jumped in on the conversation, saying:

“I appointed Commander Shaun Ferguson as chief of the New Orleans Police Department in January 2019. It is a decision that I unequivocally stand by today. Chief Ferguson continues to have my unwavering support and trust as do all the women and men of the New Orleans Police Department. I have full confidence in Chief Ferguson’s leadership and in his plan to keep the residents of Orleans Parish safe. He is  deserving of our respect and support.” 

WGNO reached out to JP Morrell again on Wednesday but he declined to comment.