Katrina & Beyond

New Orleans Police Chief Steps Down

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New Orleans Police Superintendent Edwin Compass, one of the leading authority figures in the city after Katrina hit, has resigned. No reason was given for the resignation.


Since Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans, Police Superintendent Edwin Compass has provided a public voice of authority for his city. He has comforted victims, challenged those he felt were up to no good, criticized fellow officers accused of abandoning their posts, and traveled about the city with a steady stream of reporters in tow.


So it was a surprise to hear Superintendent Compass make this announcement yesterday.

Superintendent EDWIN COMPASS (New Orleans Police Department): Every man in leadership positions must know when it's time to hand over the reins to someone else, and at this time, within the next 30 to 45 days during the transition period, I will be retiring as superintendent of police, and I will be going on in another direction God has for me.

MONTAGNE: Edwin Compass said he'd wanted to be superintendent of police his whole life, and officials gave no reason for his departure now.

INSKEEP: The superintendent had been criticized for his department's response to Katrina. Mayor Ray Nagin has already named an acting superintendent and has said he would create a panel to investigate the handling of the crisis.

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