Police Public Information Officer

Salary: $27.38 - $39.40/hour (Non-Exempt)
Job Type: Full Time
Shift: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (On-call seven (7) days a week, twenty-four (24) hours per day)
Recruitment Period: Open Until Filled

Job Description

This job classification has been designated as a safety sensitive job classification in accordance with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act, 63 O.S., § 427.1 et seq., (OSCN 2019), effective August 29, 2019. This means employees in this job classification can be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination if they test positive for marijuana components or metabolites, even if they possess a medical marijuana license.

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Education and Experience:  Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Public Relations, Communications, Journalism or related field.  Three years of experience in print or electronic media or public relations or other field that focuses on the gathering, processing and dissemination of information regarding public affairs, laws and the legal system, or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience. 

Licenses and Certifications: Must possess a valid state driver’s license and satisfactory motor vehicle record.  Must be able to receive Advanced Public Information Officer certification from the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). Must be able to achieve required National Incident Management System (NIMS) proficiency. 

Special Requirements:  Extensive interpersonal skills 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 speak clearly and concisely, using proper English; ability to establish and maintain cooperative relationships with City officials, fellow employees, the general public and media; proficiency in use of computers,  mobile devices, photography equipment and software commonly used in social media; professional skills, such as writing a variety of press releases/speeches; familiarity of police records data bases, the role of law enforcement in the community, City administration and media sources and practices; knowledge of the Oklahoma public records law; ability to work independently and apply sound judgment when resolving reoccurring problems and complaints; ability to interpret, apply and explain departmental policies and procedures; ability to receive and follow both oral and written instructions and use resourcefulness and tact with public contacts;  maintain confidential nature of the work;  ability to be on an “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; ability to maintain both regular and irregular punctual work attendance. 

Essential Functions:  Facilitates the dissemination of information to the public and media for the Norman Police Department and other City departments as needed.  Monitors the daily investigations and actions of the police department for situations likely to attract media attention.  Identifies and prepares self-generated news releases on specific departmental actions, whether job related or within the community, which would be of media interest and/or convey positive initiatives of the Norman Police Department, and other emergency management departments/services. Prepares and releases progress, statistical, narrative, and informational reports.  Replies to all media calls; works with local, state and national media personnel; conducts interviews with minimal supervision; responds to general public requests for information.   Responds to the scene of any major news event involving the City; directs and contains media personnel; assembles event details; provides briefings, interviews, and updates as needed. Monitors a variety of information sources; provides summaries to the Chief of Police and City Manager of all major news stories.  Leads city-wide Joint Information Center; gathers and disseminates information regarding incidents; conducts news conferences at the direction of the Chief of Police.  Represents the department at special events; makes public appearances.  Compiles complex and/or technical information; prepares and publishes the department’s annual report.  Monitors the department’s compliance with departmental policies and procedures regarding the release of information to and interaction with the media; attends staff meetings as required; makes notes and prepares summaries for distribution.  Develops and maintains plans and procedures, checklists, contact lists, and public information materials.  Communicates extensively with diverse sectors of the public.  Communicates with staff in mid-level and line-level positions.  Writes speeches and articles for publication; effectively presents information to top management, public groups, media, and/or City Council.  Fosters working relationships with the media, school, County and other agencies; organizes special events and other public relations programs.  Creates video material, brochures and other informational material.  Manages Blackboard Connect and the department’s website.  Performs other related work as required.

Physical Abilities:  Limited amount of physical effort required associated with talking, hearing, walking, standing, lifting and carrying light objects (less than 25 lb.); and occasionally climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, and crouching. (5-10% of the time). 

Working Conditions:  Normal work is performed in an office environment where there are little or no physical discomforts associated with changes in weather, noise, dust, dirt, and the like.  Periodically works outdoors in a variety of weather conditions for extended periods of time both day and night.  Subjected to crude language, disturbing information, graphic pictures, and hazardous working conditions at crime and disaster scenes. 

Additional Information:  Selected applicant must pass extensive background investigation, polygraph, physical examination and drug screen.