New commander to take over NOPD’s Second District

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Second District Commander Jeff Walls and Lt. Eric Gillard greet Uptown residents at a community meeting in June 2019. Gillard will replace Walls as the Second District commander on Monday.  (Robert Morris, Uptown Messenger file photo)

The New Orleans Police Department announced a change of command in the Second District, which oversees police services for Audubon, Carrollton, Hollygrove and other Uptown areas.

Capt. Jeff Walls, the Second District commander since 2019, assumed command of the Eighth District on Friday. He replaced Capt. Anthony Caprera, who retired Friday after a 37-year career with NOPD. It’s Walls’ second leadership assignment to the Eighth District, which comprises the French Quarter, CBD, Marigny and Warehouse District.

Lt. Eric Gillard

On Monday (June 21), Lt. Eric Gillard, the second in command in the Second District for the past four years, will be promoted to the rank of captain and assume command of the Second District.

Gillard is a 21-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department and, like Walls, worked in Uptown’s Sixth District. The New Orleans native graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1989 and from Southern University in New Orleans in 1994 with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice.

He began his career in the Third District in 1995 as a patrol officer and moved up to task force officer in 1996. Two years later, he was accepted into the Special Operations Division. After 11 years in the Special Operations Division, he was promoted to sergeant in August of 2009.

He was then transferred to the Sixth District, where he was a platoon supervisor for 11 months prior to overseeing the district’s task force unit in June of 2010. Gillard was transferred to the Fifth District in 2014, where he served as a task force supervisor until May 2017, at which time he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

Gillard has received numerous honors including nine commendation letters, two unit citations, and six awarded medals including a lifesaving medal.

Walls, who joined NOPD in 1997, has received several letters of commendation, a medal of achievement and two medals of commendation.

Before replacing Doug Eckert, who died one day after retiring from the force, as Second District commander, Walls led the lakefront’s Third District and previously the French Quarter’s Eighth District, as well as the department’s homicide unit.

Walls led investigations in the Sixth District — which covers the Garden District, Irish Channel and Central City — in 2010 and 2011.

Walls has an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Bishop State Community College in Alabama, a bachelor’s in criminal justice from Loyola University and a master’s in homeland security from Tulane University.

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