By KEVIN McGILL
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The head of New Orleans’s police department is retiring. Superintendent Shaun Ferguson leaves as the city and the department struggle to fight increases in violent crime with depleted police manpower. Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Ferguson’s departure in a news release thanking him for 24 years of service with the department. Ferguson succeeded Michael Harrison, who left New Orleans to head the Baltimore police department in January 2019. While New Orleans has continued to win praise for implementing reforms the city has also faced increased violent crime in recent years. And the force has dwindled to fewer than 1,000 officers, down from 1,300 a few years ago.