Communications Specialist III-Public Safety PIO - Boulder City, CO

August 13, 2019

Boulder City,CO

Communications Specialist III-Public Safety PIO


Overall Job Objective

Under general supervision, to provide Boulder Police and Fire Departments with media/public relations counsel, direction, implementation, training and oversight; to provide media representatives with accurate and timely information about city programs and public safety services/actions; to serve as the official department(s) spokesperson and Public Information Officer as needed; to provide Boulder Police and Fire Departments with communication plan direction; and to provide and perform related duties as required.

**Hiring range is $75,000 to $83,000**

Duties & Responsibilities

1. Performs communication oversight as follows:

 Serves as a member of the city's Communication Department, assisting in developing strategies and communication plans for the city and Police and Fire departments.

 Assists the Chiefs in setting media relations policy and strategy. Trains department staff and other employees in media relations. Assists with special projects.

 Serves as the police department liaison to city and county emergency planning agencies such as the Multiple Agency Coordinating Committee.

 Works with the Office of Emergency Management to develop and improve employee preparedness and communication for emergency situations.

 Serves as the city lead for the ESF 15 function at the Emergency Operations Center training city staff and managing the on-call calendar Staffs the ESF 15 function at the Emergency Operations Center during activations and/or works as the field PIO liaison in the event of a major disaster.

 Serves as an information resource to public safety staff to assist with their information, outreach and communication strategy needs.

 Attends and participates in management team meetings for Police and Fire department(s) as needed.

 Develops annual communication plans to ensure public relations goals are achieved and aligned with department(s) and city goals.

 Serves as the police and fire department spokesperson during police, fire and other emergencies, as well as routine public safety matters.

 Responds to emergency scenes in which media are present until situation is resolved or until all media have left the scene. Works with emergency personnel to gather facts and determine what information can be provided to the media. Coordinates communication during situations that involve multiple agencies or departments. Writes and distributes news releases and makes follow-up calls to the media to update information. Interacts with the broadcast media to offer live interviews if needed. Works with emergency personnel to provide ongoing information to the media. Informs City Council, the City Manager and/or Communications Director of situations as warranted.

 Remains on-call 24/7, except when on vacation or pre-approved time off.

 Manages and integrates department messaging, as assigned, across all city communication platforms (web, social media, print, TV, mobile app).

 Participates in incident after action meetings as necessary.

2. Initiates and develops external public information for public safety department(s):

 Understands the mission and services provided by Police and Fire department(s) in order to actively promote programs and services to the community to inform and enhance department(s) image.

 Establishes and maintains visible and accessible public profile by attending public meetings as a representative of the police or fire department and through frequent contact with Boulder and Denver

media representatives.

 Remains aware of sensitive or political issues related to public safety issues and provides public relations counsel to Chiefs and the Communication Director.

 Keeps informed about and implements innovative and useful methods of communication with a focus on trends in social media and external public relations.

 Develops and implements processes and programs to build trust and confidence among the Boulder community. Gathers information from community members and others on a periodic schedule, using surveys, focus groups, online tools and other processes, as appropriate.

 Writes news releases, newsletters, brochures, flyers, public service announcements, scripts, talking points and other communications materials.

 Establishes good working relationships with members of the media to facilitate timely, accurate, and positive coverage. Responds to community member inquiries and correspondence. Works with records personnel and the department's legal counsel to facilitate public records requests and help ensure that related laws are being followed.

 Oversees social media platforms and postings for Boulder Police and Fire departments.

3. Creates and integrates projects as a member of a team:

 Originates advertising and promotion concepts designed to be inclusive to a diverse community in the print and Web environment as assigned. Supports appropriate staff (graphics designer, webmaster, relevant department staffs) in the processes that move these concepts from design to completion.

 Provides editorial support to staff to ensure that written materials presented to the public reflect the standards of the city.

 Coordinates paid advertisement placement and purchasing within the context of annual budget parameters for assigned department(s).

 Coordinates and implements department(s) press conferences.

 Based on direction from the Communication Manager, prioritizes promotion activities to assure that public relations output supports city and department policy goals.

 Supports Communication Department at the Emergency Operations Center, shelters, on scene or as assigned during city emergencies and/or disasters.

4. Other:

 Performs related duties as required to meet the needs of the city.

 Takes proper safety precautions, anticipates unsafe circumstances, and acts accordingly to prevent accidents. Responsible for the safety of self, others, materials, and equipment. Uses all required safety equipment and follows all safety regulations, policies and procedures. Reports all accidents and damage to city property.

 Responsible for knowing and complying with all city and department policies; participating in professional trainings and development; and adhering to attendance and workplace attire policies.

Generally, duties are listed from most to least critical or time consuming




Bachelor's degree in Communications, Public Relations, Marketing, or related field, and at least five years of experience in public information, journalism, or communications, or equivalent combination of education and/or experience. Ability to use discretion with confidential information. Ability and willingness to carry a department mobile phone to facilitate communication with department members pager and respond as needed to crises or emergency situations on a 24-hour on-call basis and to respond to emergency scenes as needed. Ability to respond to requests for information in a timely and customer service-oriented manner and to use discretion with confidential information. Demonstrated ability to resolve issues using own initiative, under minimal supervision, time pressure, and in difficult situations. Demonstrated project management experience. Excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills with experience in print, web, and social media. Professional experience in working with senior management and staff on external communications. Work experience demonstrating flexibility and excellent organizational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines, respond to requests for information in a timely manner, and manage multiple tasks simultaneously. Valid driver's license and independent transportation to attend all essential functions. Have and maintain acceptable background information, including criminal conviction history and credit history, and motor vehicle record.


DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS  In addition to the required minimum qualifications:

Experience working in a public sector setting. Experience working as a public safety public information officer. Demonstrated strategic agility to anticipate potential outcomes and consequences related to communication and political issues. Managerial courage to provide objective feedback and represent a minority perspective. Interpersonal savvy to relate to all levels of city government and staff to build effective relationships. Reputation for integrity and trust in dealing with confidential information. Ability to deal with ambiguity and effectively cope with change in work plans and priorities.


Supplemental Information



BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Demonstrated personal and professional honesty, integrity, good judgment as shown in applicant's criminal history, background and motor vehicle record, and use of drugs and alcohol. Preference will be given to applicants who have no history of use, sale or possession of illegal substances. Polygraph or Computer Voice Stress Analyzer used for verification of applicant information. Prior to employment, successful applicants are required to submit to a drug test. Some positions will also require medical and/or psychological testing prior to employment. Ability to obtain a CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Systems) certification through a fingerprint and background check.

WORKING CONDITIONS - Required Physical and Mental Effort, and Environmental Conditions:

Physical and Mental Effort: Sufficient clarity of speech and hearing or other communication capabilities that permits the employee to communicate effectively on the telephone and in person. Sufficient vision or other powers of observation that permits the employee to review, evaluate and prepare a variety of written documents and materials. Sufficient manual dexterity that permits the employee to operate computer equipment and other office equipment. Sufficient personal mobility and physical reflexes, which permits the employee to work in an office setting. Work may include extended periods of time viewing a computer video monitor and/ or operating a keyboard. Ability to work under stress from demanding deadlines, public contact, and changing priorities and conditions.

Work Environment: Works primarily in a clean, comfortable environment. Works in a setting subject to continuous interruptions and background noises. Will occasionally need to respond to crime scenes, fire scenes, hazmat situations, or other incidents outside. At times will have to work with the media while outside in inclement weather.

Machines and equipment used include, but are not limited to the following: Frequently uses a City vehicle and standard office equipment including , personal computer, telephone, cell phone, pager, photocopy machine, facsimile machine and calculator


ACCOMMODATIONS: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.


Note: The above description is illustrative only. It is not meant to be all-inclusive.


A summary of the benefits available to city employees may be found here.

In addition to the application, a resume and cover letter are required to apply for this position. Have you attached both?
  • Yes
  • No
This position also requires a sample communication plan and two writing samples of your work. Please email communication plan and writing samples to All samples must be received by Aug. 25. No in-person visits or phone calls please. Do you understand this requirement?
  • Yes
  • No
Do you have a bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism, English, Public Relations, Marketing, or related field, and at least five years of experience in media relations, public information, journalism, or communications; OR an equivalent combination of education and experience?
  • Yes
  • No
Do you have previous experience as a Public Information Officer for a police or fire agency? If yes, please explain.
Do you have professional experience working with senior management and staff on external communications?
  • Yes
  • No
Do you have a valid driver's license and independent transportation to attend all essential functions?
  • Yes
  • No
Have you committed a felony in the previous 5 years, including felonious drug use or possession?
  • Yes
  • No
Have you had any non-traffic related misdemeanors within the previous 36 months.
  • Yes
  • No
Are willing and able to complete a Suitability Assessment (psychological assessment) conducted as part of conditional job offer?
  • Yes
  • No
Are you willing and able to be on call 24/7 and respond to the Emergency Operations Center or incident scenes during emergencies?
  • Yes
  • No
Are you available to work evenings and/or weekends as needed?
  • Yes
  • No
Do you have social media experience?
  • Yes
  • No
If answered yes to the previous question, please describe your experience.
Briefly describe your previous work experience in this field and how it relates to the qualifications and responsibilities of this position.
Discuss your experience in public relations regarding public safety and media relations.
Discuss your experience with web content development and posting.
What is your experience with the ESF 15 function at an Emergency Operations Center?
What does customer service mean to you? What, specifically, do you do to make this a priority in the workplace?
This position supports the City of Boulder's Police and Fire departments, and assigned special projects as needed. What skills and experience do you think are most important for working as a member of the communication team for the City of Boulder to support these departments?
How familiar are you with the City of Boulder organization and it's approach to community outreach, equity and public information?
The Boulder Police and Fire departments provide media relations on scene during emergencies and also proactively incorporate public relations strategies throughout the year to build positive community relations and education campaigns. Please describe your communication planning/strategy experience in these areas.
This is a position that requires strong collaboration and team work, a working knowledge of city priorities, cross-department work groups and community partnerships. Describe your experience in these areas and approach to supporting teams.
The City of Boulder has strong organizational values and the Communication Department follows the ethics standards of the Public Relation Society of America. Please describe what professional integrity means to you in this role.
Do you have experience as a spokesperson and working with members of the media?
  • Yes
  • No
If yes, please explain your experience.
Please list your PIO certifications, FEMA trainings or additional public safety courses if applicable.

* Required Question

Closing Date / Removed from Database Date
August 25, 2019

  All jobs posted are considered open until filled and may close at anytime except as stated in the Job Description.