The New Orleans Police lieutenant charged with leading investigations in the Uptown-based Second District was promoted this week to commander and charged with leading the city’s crime lab.
Doug Eckert was promoted to commander by NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison during the department’s weekly meeting of top supervisors on Wednesday. As leader of the crime lab, Eckert will manage all evidence and property collected during NOPD investigations.
“I look forward to what I have to do,” Eckert said. “I hope I live up to your expectations, and I feel I will.”
Eckert, a 17-year veteran of the NOPD with a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University, was appointed to the Second District in April of this year after previously serving in the same capacity in the Algiers-based Fourth District and the Gentilly/Lakeview-based Third District.
“He takes this job to heart, and I know he’s going to do a great job,” Harrison said Wednesday.
Eckert’s spent only about six months in the Second District, but during that time established a reputation as a frequent presence on crime scenes, supervising investigations on the ground as the district maintained a clearance rate on armed robberies higher than local and national average. Second District Commander Paul Noel called Eckert’s promotion “a great move for the department,” because of his dedication to solving crimes.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep Doug forever, that he was destined for bigger and better things,” Noel said. “I expect to continue to hear about Doug Eckert.”
Filling Eckert’s role will be Sgt. Jennifer Dupree, who has previously led both the Second District’s proactive task force and its violent-crime investigations. Dupree is in the process of taking the NOPD lieutenant exam, Noel said, and said that she has already proven her skills as an investigator and supervisor in her previous assignments.
“I wouldn’t have put her in that spot if I didn’t think she was the best person for the job,” Noel said.
Eckert’s promotion follows that of the Second District’s previous investigations supervisor, Shaun Ferguson, who was promoted to commander of the Fourth District earlier this year.
Eckert’s promotion was one of several announced last week as part of a “realignment” of the department’s senior leadership, following Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s appointment of Harrison as the permanent police chief, rather than interim. Commander Rannie Mushatt was named Deputy Chief of Investigations, Lt. Richard Williams was promoted to commander of recruitment and training, Commander John Thomas was named commander of the compliance division, and Deputy Chief Darryl Albert (a former Second District commander) was reassigned to lead criminal investigations into homicide and sex crimes.