Public Safety Information Officer III
Posted on Dec 9, 2018 by Fairfax County Government
Works as part of the Media Relations Bureau team at the Fairfax County Police Department. Participates in all aspects of the department's media relations program, including both external and internal communications. Under the general supervision of the Director of Media Relations Bureau, will provide the public and news media with information regarding all aspects of police department operations. Provides leadership as the deputy director to the Department's media relations and FOIA programs. Serves as acting bureau director when the director is away. Oversees, writes, edits, and coordinates design and production of news releases, department social media, general information, crime prevention, traffic safety publications, and internal publications. Responds to and conducts research regarding news media inquiries and participates in interviews by media. Responds to the scenes of major police events to coordinate media coverage. Consults and conducts training relating to media relations. Provides on-the-job instruction and guidance to bureau staff members in information release procedures, dealing with news media representatives, and news release writing and editing to personnel assigned to the Media Relations Bureau on a rotating basis. Ensures the department remains in compliance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding news media/public requests. Reviews all requests made by outside organizations for appearances of Police Department personnel, equipment, or facilities in photo, audio, or video productions. Ensures that county officials and agencies receive timely notification of significant events, and coordinates release of information with other agencies as required. Provides advice and assistance to department personnel regarding release of information to the news media.Illustrative Duties
- Serves on 24-hour call, with responsibility for notifying County officials of significant incidents;
- Makes decisions under pressure and deadlines regarding information that may be released to the media;
- Coordinates and provides information regarding emergency incidents and other sensitive matters to the news media;
- Acts as official County spokesperson before representatives of print and/or broadcast media, handling the more sensitive and/or controversial issues;
- Plans, directs, and executes publicity campaigns designed to inform citizens about various county programs, events or legislation;
- Supervises the work of subordinates engaged in public information activities;
- Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with members of the media;
- Responds to requests for information regarding agency/County programs;
- Provides assistance to agency/County staff as to the most effective means of communicating information to the general public, government employees, and other target groups;
- Supervises the office administration function that includes purchasing, personnel, and administrative reporting and budget preparation;
- May interact directly with the Board of Supervisors and County Executive's Office on behalf of the department.
- Knowledge of public safety area of expertise: Fire and Safety, Police, Public Health, and Emergency Management;
- Detailed knowledge of the requirements of the media regarding content, format, and timing of official releases;
- Broad knowledge of the principles of public administration and public relations as applied to public safety issues and local government operations;
- Knowledge of new media and its applications;
- Knowledge of the department and operation of the County government and its departments and agencies;
- Ability to plan and execute photographic coverage of complex events;
- Ability to adapt broadly defined policy guidance to specific situations with a minimal amount of supervision;
- Ability to work under pressure;
- Ability to participate in meaningful interchange of views on matters of critical importance to the County;
- Ability to plan and review the work of others;
- Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with the public, the press, and County employees;
- Ability to speak extemporaneously on a broad variety of County-related issues and occurrences;
- Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with County government officials and representatives of the media.
Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to: Bachelor's degree in communication, journalism, public relations or related field or field of public safety specialization (fire, police, health, safety), plus at least 6 years of progressively responsible experience in supervision which includes 3 years as a media or communications professional or first responder communicator to include two years of social media experience.
NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:
The appointee to this position will be required to complete a criminal background check to the satisfaction of the employer as a condition of employment.
Availability and willingness to work in an on-call capacity on a rotating schedule.
Reside in Fairfax County or an immediately adjacent jurisdiction. Mastery of computer graphics and/or desktop publishing. Powerful understanding of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WordPress. Experience in television production. Excellent writing, editing and proofreading skills. Proven ability to prioritize and multi-task. Seven years of progressively responsible work experience, to include supervisory and budgetary responsibilities.
Work requires the ability to operate keyboard driven equipment, to operate devices with tablet technologies, and to sit for long periods of time. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.
It is the policy of Fairfax County Government to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetics, or disability in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.
Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact for assistance. TTY . EEO/AA/TTY.