City Hall spokesman moves to NOPD _lowres

Tyler Gamble

City Hall spokesman Tyler Gamble, who in recent months has doubled as the mayor’s press secretary and Police Department spokesman after the agency lost its last one, on Thursday was named the new NOPD communications director, at least on an interim basis.

The move came a day after the department had to answer questions about why it did not release information about an officer-involved shooting in Algiers earlier this week and about a week after it closed the window for accepting applications for the position former spokeswoman Remi Braden left in late March.

“When we took office in 2010, we committed to improve the accountability and transparency of every city agency,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a prepared statement. “My expectation is that the NOPD’s Public Information Office is professional, responsive and proactive in delivering accurate information.”

Gamble’s move means that City Hall Communications Director Garnesha Crawford will now serve as the city’s chief spokeswoman and handle media requests.

The city recently solicited applications for a new NOPD spokesperson, saying it wanted someone who was nimble on social media and would be able to repair the department’s self-described “negative reputation.” It received three responses but decided to cancel the RFP process after moving Gamble to his new position.

According to documents obtained by The New Orleans Advocate through a public-records request, the applicants were John DeSantis, a reporter at the Tri-Parish Times in Houma; Timothy S. Morris Jr., a former public relations associate for Best Buy Mobile; and Peggy Poché, a former St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman who now works for the city in the Office of Police Secondary Employment.

Gamble will oversee three public information officers in his new role.

The city said it will “continue to assess the need for additional communication services on an as-needed basis.”

Follow Danny Monteverde on Twitter, @DCMonteverde.