NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Post-Katrina scandals have abated and the homicide rate dropped markedly last year in New Orleans. But violent crime still plagues the city and challenges abound for the person who ultimately replaces police chief Ronal Serpas.

The city native and career police officer who took over the department in 2010 announced his retirement Monday at a news conference with Mayor Mitch Landrieu. He's joining the faculty at Loyola University of New Orleans' Criminal Justice Department.

For now, at least, his duties fall to Michael Harrison, the commander of the city's 7th police district. Harrison's biography includes nearly 24 years with the police department, and a stint in the Louisiana Air National Guard. He also is an ordained minister, according to the city.

(Story by: Kevin McGill, The Associated Press)



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