New Orleans Police Chief Resigns After Four Turbulent Weeks

9-28-05 - Police Superintendent Eddie Compass stepped down from his post four weeks after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city where he grew up and spent 26 years policing, saying he knew in his heart it was time to walk away.

His resignation follows the storm's turbulent aftermath, during which looters ransacked stores, evacuees pleaded for help, rescue workers came under fire and nearly 250 police officers left their posts.

"Every man in a leadership position must know when it's time to hand over the reins," he said at a news conference Tuesday. "I'll be going on in another direction that God has for me."

Compass, 47, gave no reason for leaving, saying only that he would be transitioning out of the job over the next six weeks. Neither he nor Mayor Ray Nagin would say whether Compass had been pressured to leave his job.

Nagin, who appointed Compass chief in 2002, said it was a sad day for the city of New Orleans but that the departing chief "leaves the department in pretty good shape and with a significant amount of leadership."

The mayor has named Assistant Superintendent Warren Riley as acting superintendent.