NOPD Superintendent Michelle Woodfork’s mid-year update, which was expected to take place at 1 a.m today (Thursday July 6) and then rescheduled until 3 p.m., has been pushed back again.
The news conference is now set to take place at 11 a.m. Friday, June 7, according to posts on the department’s Facebook page, where the conference will also air live.
Woodfork, who has served as interim police chief since Dec. 22, a little more than six months ago, is expected to provide assessments and updates on progress at the police department since taking the helm.
According to a statement released today by New Orleans City Councilwoman at-large Helena Moreno, the department has made improvements in its response time.
The statement reads, in part, that “data . . . shows that NOPD response has recently improved from an all-time high of 180-minute average response time to its lowest average, 114 minutes, since 2021.”
In her statement, Moreno attributes the decrease in response time to the increased use of “alternative to police response”, which includes trained professionals responding to car accidents without injuries, property crimes, and mental health calls.
“Change like this is difficult, and while some were reluctant to accept and tenaciously move forward with APR, I appreciate NOPD Chief Michelle Woodfork and Dr. Jennifer Avegno for prioritizing boosting APR,” Moreno said in a statement. “. . . Our work is far from done, but I am proud to have fought to implement these changes and to have worked in collaboration with our community and NOPD leadership to prioritize this reform.”
Meanwhile, many New Orleanians are also anxiously awaiting updates on the search for the permanent police chief after a national search was launched to fill the position.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who appointed Woodfork to NOPD’s top post after former chief Shaun Ferguson resigned, making 31-year NOPD veteran the first women to serve as police superintendent, announced late last month that the application period for the search for the permanent position was closed.
“I am proud to take this next step alongside Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montaño in announcing that the application process has closed, and as of June 24, we have 33 applicants ready to begin the next step in hopes of becoming the permanent leader of the NOPD,” Cantrell said in a statement. “Thank you to (the International Association of Chiefs of Police) for continuing to lend a helping hand towards making an informed decision that is best for the residents and visitors of this great city. I welcome this next step and look forward to even more involvement as we move forward in identifying our new police chief. Now that the application process has closed, IACP will conduct the initial screening, including a resume review, internet screening and virtual screening interview, which will provide us with a pool of candidates to become the semi-finalists.”
Woodfork is reportedly one of the 33 applicants being considered for the permanent position.