LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

LSU Health New Orleans Holds 1st Swearing-In Ceremony

January 30, 2023


Richard G. Blackman, III, became the first LSU Health New Orleans University Police Chief to take the Oath of Office at a Swearing-In Ceremony on January 20, 2023. The audience was filled with family members, LSU Health New Orleans leaders, and partner law enforcement agencies, including the Louisiana State Police, the New Orleans Police Department, the United States Secret Service, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Tulane and Dillard University Police Departments.

Julius Feltus did a masterful job as the Master of Ceremony. The New Orleans Police Department Color Guard presented the colors, and NOPD Sgt. Kimera Dufeal sang the national anthem. After the Reverend Richard Burton gave the Invocation, Interim Chancellor Dr. Steve Nelson welcomed everyone to the LSU Health New Orleans campus.

His remarks concluded with this -- “The police officer and healthcare professional share a common mission – to serve and protect the community. Whether that is against a loaded gun or a deadly virus. We both race to safeguard the people we serve, oftentimes at great personal risk. And for that, I say ‘Thank you.’

Follow Us Subscribe RSS Feed

Media Contact

Leslie Capo

Office: 504-568-4806

Cell: 504-452-9166

Of Chief Blackman, Edwin Murray, JD, Vice Chancellor for Governmental, Multicultural, Community, and Security Affairs at LSU Health New Orleans, said, “He brings a wealth of law enforcement experience, a passion for excellence, an inclusive management style, a dedication to duty, and a track record of being able to relate to people from all walks and of all ages to his position. He is the right man in the right place at the right time.”

LSU Health New Orleans Director of Campus Security Caesar Ruffin, MPA, commented on the value of such an event. “The ceremony gave LSU Health New Orleans staff and community partners an opportunity to learn more about the man who is leading the LSU Health New Orleans Police Department.”

Swearing-In Ceremony
Chief Blackman has a unique skill set to excel in his new role. From planning large-scale community events like Mardi Gras, protecting visiting dignitaries, including US Presidents, and managing disaster response to serving as the volunteer leader of the Crescent City All-Stars Band composed of more than 100 student musicians from New Orleans area high schools, he shares common ground with LSU Health New Orleans faculty and students. He is a mentor and teacher as a P.O.S.T. Instructor and a subject matter expert, as well as a learner, participating in seminars on best practices and 21st Century Policing law enforcement strategies, policies, training, and critical issues as a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

“The first-class ceremony reinforced this administration’s commitment to making safety for students, faculty, staff, and visitors a top priority,” Ruffin added.

As he placed his hand on a bible held by his wife Ranada, the Honorable Nicole Sheppard, Orleans Parish Civil Court Division J Judge, administered the Oath of Office to Chief Blackman. Then as their children looked on, Ranada Blackman pinned the Chief’s pin on her husband’s dress blues.
Chief Blackman speaking
To a standing ovation, Chief Blackman began his remarks. He warmly thanked those who supported him along the way, especially his family, and the LSU Health leadership team for placing their trust in him. He said, “It’s an honor and a privilege to have this role where I can make a positive impact.”
Blackman believes campus safety is a partnership between police officers and the faculty, staff, students, administration and visitors they serve. He knows the value of training, training, and more training and will work to create a culture of mutual respect, trust and collaboration.

Following Rev. Burton’s benediction, everyone was invited to celebrate at a brief reception.

Swearing In Reception