Mayor Cantrell Appoints OPCD Executive Director Tyrell Morris as Chair of the Newly Formed Violent Crime Reduction Task Force

Contact: Emma Skilbred

Public Information Officer


[email protected]


Mayor Cantrell Appoints OPCD Executive Director Tyrell Morris as Chair of the Newly Formed Violent Crime Reduction Task Force

New Orleans, LA (January 11, 2023) The Orleans Parish Communications District (OPCD) is proud to announce the appointment of Executive Director, Tyrell Morris as chair of the Violent Crime Reduction Task Force, established through an executive order issued today by Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

In 2022, major cities across the country, including New Orleans, experienced a spike in violent crime, as well as a reduction in available law enforcement providers,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “So far, 2023 has already been met with a significant increase in violent crime, and now with the proper resources at our disposal, I cannot think of a better moment to establish this task force. This group [the Violent Crime Reduction Task Force] will be laser focused on preventing violent crime in our city, as well as assisting enforcement partners to remove the most violent offenders from our streets. By embedding ourselves within the community and bringing all stakeholders together in a more unified, collaborative, and holistic manner, this will ultimately lead to a reduction in violent crime across our city and improve the overall quality of life for our residents and visitors.”

Task Force members will work daily with senior leadership and agency directors to deploy resources to aid the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) in addressing violent crime and will meet with stakeholders, including community groups and members of the New Orleans City Council.

“The Task Force’s priorities will be very simple,” said Executive Director Tyrell Morris. “First being, the prevention of acts of violence by embedding into the community and orchestrating a ‘full government response’ to detect, deter and intervene before an act of violence happens. The second priority will be to assist Chief Woodfork, the brave men and women of the New Orleans Police Department, and law enforcement partners to apprehend violent offenders. This will include regularly evaluating internal policies, making legislative recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council, as well as removing any barrier between a need and a resource. Finally, we understand the long-term effects on those who have been impacted by violent crime. This includes the victim, the offender, and families on both sides. We must treat this as a public health emergency as the third priority will ensure wrap-around services are brought to bear.”

Director Morris is a certified public safety executive that has led OPCD and the City’s public safety agencies through several emergencies, special events and significant technology and operational improvements. As the head of this task force, Director Morris will be charged with bringing stakeholders together from many different segments of the local community and all levels of government and uniting them towards one common goal.

Other members of the Violent Crime Reduction Taskforce include:  

    • Commissioner Tenisha Stevens, Office of Criminal Justice Coordination  
    • Interim Superintendent Woodfork, NOPD  
    • Consulting Chief of Operations Fausto Pichardo, NOPD  
    • Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno, New Orleans Health Department  
    • Director Patrick Young, Mayor’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention  
    • Director John Thomas, Public Safety and Homeland Security  
    • Deputy CAO Thomas Mulligan, Office of Business and External Services  
    • Director Asya Howlette, Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families  
    • Director Gregory Joseph, Mayor’s Office of Communications  
    • District Attorney Jason Williams, Orleans Parish  
    • Chief Judge Robin Pittman, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court  
    • Chief Judge Ranord Darensburg, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court


About Orleans Parish Communications District ( in 1982, the Orleans Parish Communication District is the public safety answering point (PSAP) for all emergency communications via 9-1-1 within Orleans Parish. The agency employs over 180 individuals and provides emergency medical dispatch, emergency fire dispatch, and emergency police dispatch for the millions of annual visitors and residents of the City of New Orleans. OPCD is a member of the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).