When Commander Jennifer Dupree first arrived in the New Orleans Police Department’s Uptown-based Second District as a sergeant five years ago, she was the leader of one of the district task forces, on-the-ground detectives assigned to specific crime hot spots.
Now that Dupree has been promoted to lead the entire district, she has a veteran cast in a similar mold as her second-in-command — Lt. Eric Gillard, who formerly led a task force in the neighboring Sixth District.
Gillard was involved in a number of high-profile apprehensions during his four years in the Sixth District, which adjoins the Second District along Louisiana and Napoleon Avenues. He then spent three years in the downtown-based Fifth District, before earning the rank of lieutenant this year and joining the Second District supervising all violent-crime and property-crime investigations.
“I knew that border around Louisiana Avenue Parkway, back when they were having problems,” Gillard said. “I knew the problematic areas in the Second District, but those areas have been pretty much cleaned up now.”
Since Dupree’s promotion to commander, she said she has changed very little in the district. Former Commander Shaun Ferguson had already achieved some of the lowest crime rates in the city, and the detective unit she led had some of the highest clearance rates, she said. Gillard’s addition to her former position has been one of the only changes in an otherwise seamless transition.
“Eric’s jumping in my spot and running with it,” Dupree said. “Everything runs smoothly. Until I find something that’s broken, I’m not planning on messing anything up.”