New Orleans Deputy Chief Paul Noel will be named the next Knoxville, TN, chief of police Thursday.

The announcement — one Mayor Indya Kincannon repeatedly has called the most important of her tenure — comes days before Knoxville Chief Eve Thomas departs May 1.

Noel is the deputy superintendent in charge of the New Orleans Police Department’s criminal investigations division. He was a finalist for Chattanooga’s police chief earlier this year, Knox News reports.