One of many great things about the law enforcement profession is the variety of assignments from which you can choose: patrol officer, K9 handler, detective, and SWAT are just the tip of the iceberg.
However, there is one assignment that requires more time and effort than most. One that also is risky and for some even scary. I’m talking about the officer whose job it is to deal with the media day in and day out.
It’s an assignment that requires a huge time commitment, the ability to speak in public, and both social and political acumen. I’m talking about the police department’s Public Information Officer (PIO).
Long after the detectives have gone home, the PIO is still at the scene conducting interviews. And with today’s 24-hour news cycle this job can be daunting. Crime doesn’t follow an 8 to 5, Monday through Friday work schedule.
It’s not just newspapers, radio, and television anymore. Today’s PIO has to have a great deal of social media competency. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Next Door are now part of most police department tool boxes.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Sergeant Daron Wyatt from the Anaheim Police Department. He is the public safety PIO for the City of Anaheim. In a rather unique role, he also assists with public information for Anaheim Fire & Rescue as well as the police department.
Listen to our complete interview here: