Public Safety Information Officer Iv

Fairfax, Virginia
$81,571.98 - $135,952.96 Annually
Jan 15, 2022
Feb 18, 2022
Full Time
Job Announcement

This is an exciting time to join the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, as the office embarks on the ambitious criminal justice reform agenda amidst the ongoing national conversation on race and the legacy of racism in the criminal justice system. After taking office in January 2020, Commonwealth’s Attorney Descano’s initiatives have included restructuring the office to produce accountability around reforms, issuing a comprehensive policy to address mass incarceration, and the formulation of a Justice Advisory Council, among others. His vision for reform and creating an atmosphere of diversity and fairness within the office has prompted the office to seek team members with a passion for criminal justice reform and working to address racial and socioeconomic disparities in the local justice system. The office seeks to foster a culture of inclusion and diversity, with team members who are eager to take meaningful action to spearhead and institutionalize equity initiatives.

Under direction, plans, organizes and administers a public affairs and departmental communications program for a department with a primary criminal justice mission, i.e., prosecutors, paralegals, administrative staff, legal investigators; leads and implements a wide range of communication activities including media relations, special events, press conferences, livestreaming events, community relations, division specific reports; directs the work of others in the implementation of the communications programs; draft statements, scripts, speeches, and op-eds for public consumption; organizes community events; maintains department website, social media accounts, and e-newsletter; and performs other duties as required.

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;
  • 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;
  • May interact directly with the Board of Supervisors and County Executive's Office on behalf of the department;
  • Provides strategic communication leadership for the department/division.

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of public safety area of expertise: fire and safety, police, public health, emergency management;
  • Knowledge of the principles and methods of public affairs work;
  • Ability to write clear, concise and effective informational material and skill in editing written material;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of the National Incident Management System.

Employment Standards

Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to the following:(Click on the aforementioned link to learn how Fairfax County interprets equivalencies for “Any combination, 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 seven years of progressively responsible experience in management and supervision which includes five years as a media or communications professional or first responder communicator to include four years of social media experience.

Not applicable.

  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with outside media sources; work proficiently in a collaborative, team environment; engage people of various social, economic, cultural, ideological, racial and ethnic backgrounds; maintain a fast-paced workload; establish and maintain constructive, effective and professional relationships with fellow attorneys, public officials, judicial officers, and the public; and work in high-volume, fast-paced office environment.
  • Experience leading and implementing a wide range of communication activities, including media relations, special events, press conferences, livestreaming events, community relations, and division specific reports.
  • Demonstrated experience maintaining websites, social media accounts (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and e-newsletters.
  • Knowledge of the court system.
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite applications (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) and computer technology.
  • Notary Public.
  • The appointee to the position must satisfactorily complete a criminal background check and credit check.
  • All newly hired employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks after the last required dose) as a condition of employment or obtain approval of a medical or religious exemption prior to their start date. Proof of an exemption or vaccination status will be required during the pre-employment onboarding process. New employees who obtain an exemption from the vaccine mandate for medical or sincerely held religious beliefs will still be subject to the weekly testing requirement. Vaccinated employees and employees with a medical or religious exemption will complete the attestation online on their first day of employment or shortly thereafter.
Duties are generally sedentary in nature, however, visual acuity is required to read data on computer monitor. Must able to operate keyboard driven equipment. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.


Panel interview.

Please send your resume and cover letter outlining your education, experience, and availability to and include "Public Safety Information Officer IV" in the subject line.

This job announcement is listed as "Open Continuous". Interested applicants are advised to submit their applications as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be referred until the position(s) have been filled or when a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. If your application is received later in the recruitment process, it may not be reviewed or considered.

Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or military status 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 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.