New Orleans losing another high-ranking cop; deputy superintendent expected to leave amid crime surge

Deputy Superintendent Paul Noel is expected to be named Thursday as the chief of the Knoxville Police Department in Tennessee, Fox affiliate WVUE-DT reported. 

New Orleans police Deputy Superintendent Paul Noel is expected to leave the department to head the Knoxville Police Department in Tennessee.

New Orleans police Deputy Superintendent Paul Noel is expected to leave the department to head the Knoxville Police Department in Tennessee. (NOPD)

Noel’s departure would be the fourth high-ranking member of Superintendent Shaun Ferguson’s administration in recent months. Fox News Digital has reached out to the New Orleans Police Department about the matter. 

A spokesperson for the Knoxville Police Department declined to confirm Noel as the new chief. 

Noel joined the New Orleans Police Department in 1997 and has served in various assignments. He previously was considered to head the Chattanooga Police Department in Tennessee but that role went to Atlanta deputy chief Celeste Murphy in February.

The departure comes as New Orleans is battling a crime surge, similar to many other cities. 

As of Monday, the city had 89 homicides, compared to 61 in the same time frame last year, according to data from the Metropolitan Crime Commission. 

Police vehicles block access to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. 

Police vehicles block access to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.  (Bryan Tarnowski/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Shootings are up slightly from 145 last year to 152 as of Monday. Robberies, armed robberies and carjackings are also up compared to 2021.

One fed-up New Orleans homeowner who said she had had her home twice broken into told local station WGNO-TV she has “a better chance of calling Ghostbusters,” given the lack of response she received from the police department. 

The department is also reeling from staffing shortages, which a police spokesperson said is part of a nationwide problem across many law enforcement agencies.   

“Law enforcement agencies around the country are facing the same challenges related to recruiting and retention of police officers. This is not unique to New Orleans,” NOPD Public Information Officer Gary Scheets said. “Operational plans are developed to strategically deploy resources with the utmost regard for ensuring public safety.” 

Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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