It’s a slow news day. Perfect for a story on a D.C. Police Department personnel move. On November 17, we reported that police spokesperson Traci Hughes had been laid off. Apparently, budget cuts caused the always-patient Hughes to lose her job.
Another civilian, Kevin Palmer, assumed the spokesperson slot. Now, he too is no longer handling press duties; Palmer has shifted back to his previous post within the department’s strategic services bureau.
“The opportunity was a short term thing anyway,” Palmer tells City Desk. “No big story here.”
Does he have any fond memories of handling press calls? Palmer isn’t so sure. He would only call his interactions with reporters “interesting.”
During Palmer’s month-long tenure, he handled the child murder in Columbia Heights and the murder of a liquor store owner. He calls his tenure a “whirlwind.”
“Unfortunately, the role isn’t one I will be playing moving forward,” Palmer says. “The opportunity served me well. I would be happy to return to it if it came my way again.”
Palmer had this to say about the press: “I think you all are certainly a forward-thinking group. You have a job to do and I think the media here are for the most part receptive to giving us a fair shake. I think certainly there are times when it can get challenging to try to manage especially when there’s not a lot we can tell anyone. I felt that for the most part everybody gave me a decent chance at survival.”
Gwendolyn Crump has assumed spokesperson duties as the acting director of the public information office. She may want to change the department’s FOIA page. It still instructs reporters to submit FOIA requests to Hughes.
*photo by Darrow Montgomery.