NO.wwldrugbust.081418.006

New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Michael Harrison speaks during a press conference with Mayor LaToya Cantrell and representatives of local and federal law about summer crime and arrests made in connection with a narcotics operation in New Orleans, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. As part of the "Operation Summer Heat" undercover operations, 71 street-level drug dealers were arrested.

Now that New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Michael Harrison is leaving his job to lead the police department in Baltimore, Mayor LaToya Cantrell could be making the most important decision of her administration as she selects Harrison’s replacement.

Appointed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to head the NOPD in 2014, Harrison was a steady hand at the department. New Orleans just finished a year with the lowest number of killings since 1971.

Harrison leaves office as the most successful superintendent since Richard Pennington, the man who first identified him as a future law enforcement leader.

The mayor is reportedly looking within the department for a new chief and could name Harrison's replacement soon.

Leading big-city police departments is a tough job, with a limited number of quality candidates. Cantrell has an opportunity — and an obligation — to make the best choice.