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New Orleans police chief resigns as tribunal for missing officers announced

[JURIST] The embattled chief of the New Orleans Police Department [official website] resigned his position Tuesday on the same day he announced the establishment of a special tribunal to contend with the nearly 250 New Orleans police officers who went missing from their posts [JURIST report] in the wake of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. Police Superintendant Eddie Compass said a panel of four Assistant Police Chiefs would hear their cases, and those found to have deserted would have an opportunity to appeal. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin [Wikipedia profile] said that the New Orleans City Attorney would review the Police Department's plan to ensure it did not violate civil service regulations. Lieutenant Ray Banelli, president of the Police Association of New Orleans [official website] insisted that only a small fraction of police officers deserted their posts, while a vast majority were tending to legitimate family and safety concerns. Compass's resignation comes after weeks of criticism of the police department's response to the hurricane and the disorder that followed. Neither Compass nor Nagin has said whether Compass was pressured to resign. AP has more.

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