Skip to content

Public Information Officer

JOB SUMMARY

The Public Information Officer (PIO) is the liaison between the Office of the Sheriff and the public and is responsible for issuing press releases, answering queries from the media and arranging interviews with the Sheriff and other members of the Command Staff.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

The PIO gathers facts and distributes them to the media.

He/she produces printed and video material for dissemination to the public.

The PIO is responsible for organizing special events such as news conferences and awards ceremonies. Maintaining and monitoring a social media presence is an essential part of the PIO’s duties. The PIO will be available to respond to publicized situations or emergency incidents involving the agency.

On a daily basis, the PIO will review incident reports prepared by patrol officers to determine which should be rewritten for electronic distribution to the media and the public.

The PIO will regularly check all social media outlets and posts for alerting and responding to any unusual activity/notifications and thus must have a working knowledge of all social media platforms and their operations.

The PIO is often the face of the organization in the absence of the Sheriff whether behind the camera or in front of news cameras. The PIO will prepare speeches for the Sheriff, gather information and work with other members of the Command Staff to plan agency actions and the appropriate dissemination of factual information.

The PIO performs other duties that may be assigned to support the mission of the Office of the Sheriff.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Ability to read and interpret documents such as crime reports written in English. Ability to write routine press releases, reports and correspondence. Ability to verbally communicate effectively and persuasively with the general public, including giving on-camera interviews, and to present information accurately and concisely to other employees and supervisors of the Office of the Sheriff.

Ability to provide exceptional communication and customer service to the public and office employees through use of telephones, other electronic means and in person.

CERTIFICATES, LICENSES, AND REGISTRATIONS

Class C Maryland Motor Vehicle Operator’s License.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

The PIO should have at least a bachelor's degree or an equivalent amount of related work experience. Experience or education in public relations, law enforcement, marketing, journalism, or communications would be helpful.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to sit and talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; and climb or balance. The employee is required to stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl.

The employee must be able and willing to operate county owned vehicles to include passenger cars, pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and full-size vans.

Reasonable accommodations may be made for some of these physical demands for otherwise qualified individuals who require and request such accommodations.

WORK ENVIRONMENT

Work is performed in a variety of conditions and occasionally outside. Employee regularly operates a motor vehicle and may work in adverse weather conditions. Occasionally works in high, precarious places and may be exposed to fumes or airborne particles, risk of electrical shock, and exposure to biohazards.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

This position operates in a law enforcement environment which at times may expose the employee potentially dangerous situations.

This position deals with sensitive and confidential information. A breach in this confidentiality could risk the successful criminal prosecution. Confidential information must be kept confidential except for disclosure in official duties.

COMMENTS

This position is designated as an ESSENTIAL position. Employees occupying this position may be required to report to or remain on duty when County offices are closed due to inclement weather or for other reasons.

An employee in this position may be required to work shift work, overtime, weekends and holidays and remain on standby for a call back to work.

Full time 40 hours per week on a schedule to be determined by the Sheriff or his designee.

Employees must conform to all applicable policies, safety rules, and laws.

This description lists the major duties and requirements of the job and is not all-inclusive.