Anthony W. Batts has made his first personnel move as Baltimore police commissioner, hiring a communications consultant who has worked for police departments in the United States and Canada to serve as his chief of staff.
Judy Pal, a native of Canada who runs a consulting firm called 10-8 Communications, will start Oct. 1. The position had been left vacant under former Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.
According to her website and news accounts, Pal formerly served as chief of staff to Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, and was a spokeswoman at the Atlanta and Savannah-Chatham (Ga.) police departments. She also worked for police department Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the city of Irvine, Calif. With the excepton of Halifax, each stint lasted a year.
Before starting 10-8 Communications in March, she worked as director of operations for Kroll Security Group, whose chairman is former New York and Los Angeles police chief William Bratton, a big Batts supporter. She also worked for seven years in television news, according to a 2005 Orange County Register article.
Pal said she recently visited Baltimore with a delegation of police officials from Chile, and liked what she saw - she was particularly impressed with the city's surveillence camera network, she said.
In an interview, she said she was coming to Baltimore to work with Batts - who she called "extraordinarily smart" - and to get back into public service.