NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Supt. Shaun Ferguson took his last walk for the New Orleans Police Department Thursday and headed into retirement.

Management Services Bureau Capt. Michelle Woodfork was sworn in as interim superintendent at Gallier Hall Thursday morning.

Public safety personnel, city officials and other special guests were in attendance.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Tuesday Capt. Woodfork would be taking over while a national search is conducted to find a permanent replacement for Supt. Ferguson. The consulting firm helping with the search has not yet been announced.

Capt. Woodfork started with the NOPD as a patrol officer in the 7th district in 1991. Since then, she worked across five districts in various roles, as a detective and launched the Alternative Police Response Unit in 2012.

Former Supt. Warren Woodfork was her uncle. Her father also held ranks with the NOPD in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Ferguson announced his retirement Dec. 6 after 24 years with the NOPD. While his retirement came as a surprise to some, during the latter part of his tenure as chief, he was often criticized by certain council members. However, Ferguson told the media, his decision was based off a desire to spend time with his family, not the criticism. Ferguson was sworn in as superintendent at Gallier Hall in Jan. 2019.

Ferguson joined the NOPD in 1998, serving as the Commander of the Educational and Training Division overseeing the police academy. He previously commanded NOPD’s Fourth District from 2014 to 2016 before serving as the Commander of the Second District from 2016 to 2018.

Ferguson belongs to several organizations including the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

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