Public Safety Information Officer III

$65,825.55 - $109,708.77 yr
Mar 13, 2017
Mar 27, 2017
Full Time
Works as part of the the Department of Public Affairs team at Fairfax County Police Department. Participates in all aspects of the department's public affairs program, including both external and internal communications. Under the general supervision of the Director of Public Affairs Bureau, will provide the public and news media with information regarding all aspects of police department operations. Other duties include:
  • Serves as a spokesperson for the department;
  • Strong familiarization with Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for use in responding to social media queries on information releases;
  • Speaks on the public record for the police department. Researches, writes, vets and disseminates community, including media and advisories;
  • Responds to queries from the community, including media, the general public, county officials and members of the department;
  • Initiates the release and dissemination of information, in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and department release of information policies, relating to departmental activities, policies and practices;
  • Advises, assists and prepares members of the department for dealings with the community, including media.
  • Coordinates interviews of personnel by print and community, including media;
  • Responds to major police events to provide community, including media coordination and release of information;
  • Writes, produces, edits and/or presents content for publications and programs.
Illustrative Duties
  • Serves on a rotational 24-hour on call duty, 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, including social media campaigns, designed to inform citizens about various county programs, events or legislation;
  • Supervises the work of subordinates engaged in public information and social media 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 reporting and budget preparation;
  • May interact directly with the Board of Supervisors and County Executive's Office on behalf of the department.
Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities
  • Knowledge of public safety area of expertise: Fire and safety, police, public health, 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.
Employment Standards MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:
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.

  • Bachelor's degree in journalism or related field, plus five years of progressively responsible experience in public information, journalism, broadcasting and/or publications production;
  • A bachelor's degree can be replaced by 4 years of experience;
  • Mastery of computer graphics and/or desktop publishing;
  • Powerful understanding of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram;
  • Read, speak, and write Spanish or an Asian language;
  • Excellent writing, editing and proofreading skills;
  • Proven ability to prioritize and multi-task;
  • Availability and willingness to work in an on-call capacity on a rotating schedule;
  • Respond to major police incidents regardless of the day or time and to be flexible about scheduling as needed.
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 will be accomplished with or without 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 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 711. EEO/AA/TTY.

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