Notre Dame hires NYPD spokesman Paul Browne

July 18, 2013 5:08:12 PM PDT
A veteran chief spokesman and strategist for the New York Police Department was named Thursday as vice president for public affairs at the University of Notre Dame.

Paul Browne will oversee the Indiana school's communications operation starting on Aug. 19.

For more than a decade, Browne has been the voice of the nation's largest police department amid big stories like the foiled plot in 2004 to bomb Manhattan's Herald Square subway station and the failed car-bombing of Times Square in 2010, as well as countless high-profile homicide investigations and police shootings.

Browne also has been a close adviser to police Commissioner Raymond Kelly during a period of record declines in serious crime and numerous other counterterrorism successes. It also was a time when the NYPD came under fire for its use of street stops to fight gun violence and its secret surveillance of Muslims, a program detailed in a series of stories by The Associated Press.

Critics have accused Browne of duplicity in his defense of the programs. But Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have called him tireless and trustworthy.

Browne served with the NYPD "at a crucial, transformative time in the police department's history," Kelly said in a statement.

Notre Dame president the Rev. John Jenkins called Browne "highly qualified for the task at hand."