Warren Riley is preparing to leave as New Orleans police superintendent, having served since Hurricane Katrina left the agency in shambles. Riley, 51, tells the New Orleans Times-Picayune he sees his legacy in the rebuilding of a broken institution, getting his officers out of trailers and back into actual buildings. He emphasizes improving pay and benefits to assist with recruitment efforts, which have brought manpower back up to almost what it was before the storm.
Federal civil rights investigators have eight open cases into officer conduct, many involving shootings during the Katrina aftermath. The new police superintendent could end up working under federal oversight. Despite recent crime drops, New Orleans remains a violent city. Last year, there were 174 murders, making the city again, the most deadly in the country. Riley says he has seen good results from his strategies, such as saturating “hot spots” of crime. Departing mayor Ray Nagin said, “Warren will be missed. Trust me. You’re going to miss that guy.”