April 30, 2024

Former NOPD Chief Michelle Woodfork Joins the DA’s Office as the Forensic & Intelligence Investigations Director to Build on the Gains in the Fight Against Violent Crime

New Orleans, LA – Today, District Attorney Williams announced the appointment of former NOPD Superintendent Michelle Woodfork as the office’s new Director of Forensics and Intelligence. Woodfork, widely known for her steadfast dedication to public safety and her distinguished career in law enforcement spanning over three decades, will assume the pivotal role of leading an innovative unit DA Williams established in 2023.

Central to Woodfork’s mandate will be her leadership of the internal (OSINT) Open Source Intelligence Taskforce, a cornerstone initiative developed in response to the alarming surge in violent crime following the pandemic. In a short period, the task force has become one of the most effective tools for ADAs to strengthen prosecutions of homicides and other serious violent crimes.

District Attorney Williams emphasized the critical importance of this appointment, stating, “Chief Woodfork is playing the role of honey badger. She is running point on building the best cases possible against the most dangerous violent repeat offenders in our community so that we can all live in peace. The number of people who are truly terrorizing New Orleans is not a big number. That number will be her focus.”

Woodfork’s seamless transition into her new role will be facilitated by her intimate familiarity with OSINT, gained during her tenure as NOPD Chief. As Superintendent, she played an instrumental role in bridging the gap to this task force within the DA’s office, in collaboration with NGO Bancroft Global, during the height of the crime wave. The resounding success of the partnership and the close ties forged between the two agencies is a testament to Michelle’s leadership and ability to think outside the box. Her addition will assist the office in institutionalizing the expertise necessary to have a fully independent OSINT operated by trained public servants.

District Attorney Williams conveyed unequivocal confidence in Woodfork’s ability to elevate the office’s capabilities, stating, “It’s not just about assembling a team; it’s about putting the best players on the field to secure victory.”

As she assumes her role, Woodfork’s focus will be on perfecting communication strategies and protocols between the crime scene and the courtroom. Her reputation as a woman of action, backed by a track record of tangible results, positions her as the ideal leader to maintain public safety gains and proactively prepare for the next potential crime spike.

District Attorney Williams expressed conviction in his decision to recruit Woodfork to join OPDA given her unmatched track record serving the City and the Department, stating, “Michelle’s love for this city and her unparalleled dedication to public safety make her an invaluable asset to the OPDA team. Together, we will continue to make strides towards lowering crime numbers.

Addressing the public for the first time in her new post, Woodfork spoke about what she anticipates from her role and how her decorated career with the NOPD will serve her. “I’m excited for this opportunity to continue to partner with NOPD Homicide, our federal partners, and the team at Bancroft to analyze all available evidence to bring the most dangerous criminals to justice. This is just another way for me to serve a city I love so much. It’s a way for me to give back to the NOPD, the DA’s office, and especially the people in our community – including those who live and visit here.”