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JOB TITLE: Public Information Officer, Police Department
JOB CODE: 26.03

PURPOSE OF THE POSITION: To facilitate the dissemination of information for the Police Department to the public and media.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: A Bachelor Degree from an accredited college or university in Public Relations, Mass Communications, Journalism, Marketing, Public Administration, or a related field plus three (3) years experience in print or electronic media or public relations. Prior experience in Law Enforcement and/or Fire-Rescue reporting is preferred; or the equivalent in education, training, and experience, which would provide the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities.

· Ability to communicate effectively with the general public and the media.
· Ability to write in a clear, concise manner, using proper punctuation, spelling and following proper rules of grammar.
· Ability to establish and maintain cooperative relationships with City and County officials, fellow employees, the general public and media.
· Knowledge of the public records law, Chapter 119, Florida State Statutes.
· Ability to work with a minimum amount of supervision.
· Ability to be on "on-call" status seven (7) days a week, twenty four (24) hours per day, and arrive within twenty (20) minutes at most incidents after being requested to respond.
· Working knowledge of photography and photographic equipment.
· Ability to write television scripts and produce, direct and edit a magazine style television program.
· Ability to speak in public and represent the Department at numerous City functions.
· Ability to serve as the Public Information Officer liaison for the Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center and the City Operations Center when activated during storms.

· Monitors the daily investigations/actions of the Police Department for situations likely to attract media attention.
· Creates news releases, both written and recorded, for release to the local media.
· Keeps abreast of updated investigations currently being reported by the media by contacting supervisory personnel of the Police Department on a daily basis.
· Responds to requests for information from the local and Tampa Bay area media.
· Identifies and prepares news releases on specific individual actions, whether job related or within the community, which would be of media interest.
· Advises and assists all personnel who make presentations on means and methods to effectively communicate with the public and the media.
· Monitors local and national newspapers, and police related websites and maintains a clip file of stories involving the Police Department or stories that impact the Police Department.
· Provide Sarasota Police Department City School training on media relations.
· Use a personal computer with word processing and desktop publishing.
· Serve as the Department Webmaster keeping the website up to date and posting news releases when appropriate.
· Review and prepare a daily bulletin for public review.
· Coordinate Departmental programs including the Department Awards Program/ceremony and “Take Your Child to Work Day”.
· Prepare and review Public Records requests from the media, attorneys and the general public.
· Attend all major public events, i.e. parades, national Night Out, July 4th Off-Shore races and fireworks, etc.
· The intent of this class description is to provide a representative summary of the types of duties and responsibilities that would be required of classifications given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. Incumbent may be required to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this job description.

PUBLIC CONTACT: Extensive public contact; acts in a public relations capacity for the Police Department and the City of Sarasota.

SUPERVISION RECEIVED: Assignments are general with latitude for use of independent judgment; primarily accountable for results shown.


PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: This is light work requiring exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally and up to 10 pounds of force frequently. Position requires reaching, fingering, talking, and hearing to accurately perceive information at normal spoken word levels. Position requires visual acuity for reviewing, checking, preparing, and maintaining written computer files. Manual dexterity to operate standard office, data entry, and word processing equipment is required.

ORGANIZATIONAL STATUS: Under the direction of and responsible to the Police Chief or designated representative.

Revised 8/19/05

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