- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Albuquerque City Council has decided to hire publicity handlers.

KOAT-TV reports (http://bit.ly/U68dEf) that city councilors announced a contract with an Albuquerque-based public relations firm.

Council President Ken Sanchez says the decision was made in the wake of national attention from a scathing U.S. Justice Department report as well as protests of a series of police-involved shootings.

Sanchez says it has entered in a $25,000 agreement with the Garrity Group.

He says the arrangement will cost less than a full-time public information officer.

The Garrity Group says they are still in negotiations with the city on a contract.

The firm will handle media questions and work with councilors and staff on how to respond to the community.

___

Information from: KOAT-TV, http://www.thenewmexicochannel.com/index.html