Public Information Officer/Sheriff
Performs professional level public information work. Under direction of the Executive Officer, develops and implements strategies to inform the public through the press, social media, website, community presentations and events, and other sources as appropriate of any and all noteworthy events that the office is involved in. Acts as an agency liaison to the media, other public information officers, community groups and committees as directed.
The following statements are illustrative of the duties and responsibilities of the job. The organization retains the right to modify or change the duties and responsibilities of the job at any time.
- Compose and issue in a timely fashion informational releases through radio announcements, publications, Office website and various forms of social media regarding the workings of the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.
- Plan and implement strategies to enhance the agency's ability to communicate to the public and maintain a positive public image.
- Coordinate public information services with other State, County and local agencies; other departments and divisions; attend meetings and provide information and assistance as warranted.
- Assist and provide information to the media including press releases, secure a safe location for media personnel, secure media from private areas of Sheriff's Office and the scenes of incidents or crisis situations.
- Coordinate and sometimes conduct news conferences, radio, television and print interviews as directed.
- Maintain a list of media representatives to whom news information is released.
- Maintain a permanent file of press releases.
- Meet with media representatives to assure that agency media policies and procedures are meeting the needs of the local media and they understand our policies and requirements.
- Coordinate and obtain authorization to release information on department operations and confidential investigations when appropriate.
- Respond to crime scenes and other major events as needed.
- Prepare and/or present materials for presentation to schools, civic groups, professional associations, and other interested parties about the Larimer County Sheriff's Office as directed.
- Assist Sheriff's Office staff in preparing and presenting interviews with media.
- Respond to inquiries from the public, news media, or others by providing information directly or referring to appropriate Sheriff's Office personnel.
- Maintain effective working relationships with members of the news media and other agencies and facilitate their access to the Sheriff's Office.
- Represent Office at various public relations organizations.
- Train and supervise assistant/temporary Press Information Officers and volunteers as needed. Provide guidance and training to other personnel authorized to speak to the media and issue press releases. Establish and maintain procedures, systems and templates.
- Coordinate other agency's use of the Larimer County Sheriff's Joint Information Center (JIC).
- Establish and maintain open communication with Patrol, Investigations, Emergency Services, Volunteer Units, Administration, and Jail staff.
- Maintain Office owned camera and video equipment as necessary; if directed coordinate photographing and/or videotaping of incidents and scenes for public distribution when access is denied to the media.
- Produce and distribute still photos for department events.
- Coordinate with Crime Prevention/Sheriff's Auxiliary Unit as requested and assist with external and internal activities and events.
- Perform special studies and projects as assigned and required.
- Perform other duties as appropriate or necessary for performance of the job.
- Maintain content of Office website and keep social media up-to-date.
- Monitor news and commentary regarding the Office and distribute to appropriate parties.
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:
- Principles, methods, and techniques of media relations and marketing.
- Journalism and other methods of program promotion.
- Effective public speaking to groups of varied interests and backgrounds.
- Organization of various news media and the practical need of media representative for information.
- Correct English usage, spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
- Operation of standard office equipment including fax machines, copiers and computers.
- Website content management, social media, basic photography and video production.
- Sheriff's Office and County rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and standard operating procedures including those related to investigations, patrol, courtroom, radio, SWAT team, Hostage Team, and Civil proceedings.
- Act as an official representative of the County in a professional manner with local, state, and national agencies and organizations.
- Organize material and present information clearly and concisely in verbal and written form in educational media presentations and articles.
- Perform duties independently without close supervision.
- Communicate clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing.
- Travel to and attend several meetings within the County boundaries and occasionally travel to and function in remote areas of the County for extended periods of time when necessary.
- Work on a rotating 24-hour on call basis.
- Establish and maintain effective working relationships with other County employees, representatives of other agencies and organizations, and members of the community.
- Two years experience in a position that requires communicating with the public, preferably in law enforcement or other emergency service type agency.
- Equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in Communication, Education, Journalism, or a related field. (Equivalency is based on two years of high-level experience equals one year of college work. For example, an employee with no college would require 8 years of high-level experience to reach the equivalency of the Bachelor's Degree. It is obligatory upon the incumbent to provide proof of equivalency for review and ultimate acceptance by the Sheriff.)
- Certification in Department Defensive Driving Course.
- Possession of or ability to obtain CPR and First Aid certifications by date of hire.
- Must have acceptable hearing to hear well on the telephone and appropriate voice skills to be clearly understood on telephone.
- May be required to sit or stand for long periods of time.
- Must have acceptable eyesight and must have use of arms, hands, and fingers to perform computer duties.
- May be required to work both indoors and outdoors in sometimes adverse weather conditions.
- Must be able to work under stressful situations, such as receiving directives from several sources.
- Must have good cognitive skills, awareness of work accuracy, ability to concentrate on more than one task at a time, and make independent decisions.
- In office and in the field.
- Long varied hours possible.