Assistant to the Commissioner of Public Safety (Public Information Officer)

Augusta, Maine, United States | Communications | Full-time

Apply by: July 13, 2020
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Opening Date:   June 26, 2020

Closing Date: July 13, 2020 

Job Class Code:  HC03 
Grade:  28
Salary:   $55,182.40 - $83,595.20
Location:  Augusta

The Maine Department of Public Safety (DPS) is seeking a dynamic individual to serve as the Assistant to the Commissioner, Public Information.  This position serves as the Public Information Officer (PIO) for DPS and is responsible for providing responses to media inquiries on some of the most important issues in Maine law enforcement.  The position manages the social media platforms of the Department as well as writes and edits news releases, departmental reports, and other informational materials.      

 The position manages the DPS public relations program.  This involves public outreach, coordination with media representatives throughout the state, and keeping the DPS social media sites up to date.  The position also provides media training throughout the state and will develop a process to facilitate the flow of information between DPS and the media. 

The PIO provides media support for the various entities throughout DPS such as the Maine State Police, the Bureau of Highway Safety, the Fire Marshal’s Office and Maine Drug Enforcement.  In this role, the PIO maintains the state’s official homicide list, which assists investigators, prosecutors and the public on the most serious crimes in Maine, including whether the homicides were domestic violence and/or drug related.  The PIO also advises department managers of public communication strategy trends that effect how DPS responds to crime, media relations, and legislative oversight. 

This position also serves as the curator of the Maine State Police museum, displaying, acquiring and cataloging the artifacts, photos and history of the Maine State Police dating back to 1921. The museum display is located in the lobby of the department and is an excellent way to exhibit and preserve the history and accomplishments of the state’s largest law enforcement agency.  Due to the nature of the position, hours worked are often outside of the regular business day.    

The ideal candidate will have exceptional communication and relationship building skills, training development and implementation experience, be familiar with the State’s budgetary and legislative process, can work and plan beyond the immediate pressures, have the ability to adapt to changing priorities and accept new challenges; and, have a strong commitment to effectiveness and efficiency.  The ability to communicate effectively, both in a public speaking forum and through written communications is essential. 

This position reports to the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. 

Responsibilities: 

  • Coordinates, directs, and provides responses to news media inquiries on some of the most sensitive and important issues in Maine law enforcement, including homicides and major criminal investigations, as well as the programs and activities of the department. This involves the gathering and coordination of such information from expert sources throughout the department, as well as other entities in and out of state government.
  • Manages the DPS public relations program. This involves public outreach, coordination with media representatives throughout the state, and updating the departments social media platforms.
  • Provides media training throughout the state.
  • Write and edit news releases, department reports, speeches, and other informational material in order to disseminate information.
  • Confers with media representatives, photographers, and the public to create awareness of agency activities.
  • Compiles and edits the state’s official homicide list.
  • Advises departmental managers of public communication strategy trends.
  • Serves as the curator of the Maine State Police museum.
  • Provides media support for the various entities within DPS. 

The background of a well-qualified candidate will demonstrate the following competencies:

  1. Leadership: effective communication, adaptability, and relationship building.
  2. Strong organizational skills: to include exercising time-management skills to meet expectations and follow through on commitments.
  3. Strong written and oral communications skills.  

Minimum Requirements:      

A Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, Communications, Public Relations or a related field, with at least eight (8) years of experience in media and/or public relations.  Related professional experience may be substituted for education on a year-for-year basis.  

Public speaking experience, proven media relations, and knowledge of the legislative process are preferred.

Application Instructions:

Interested applicants need to apply online by selecting the "Apply for this opening" button along with uploading a cover letter, current resume, copies of post-secondary transcripts, licensing, registration and certifications.  If you require a paper application, please contact Human Resources at 623-6700. 

Contact Information: 

Dottie Perry, Human Resources, at (207)623-6738 or Dottie.Perry@maine.gov; 

Why work for the State of Maine? 

Benefits: (effective July 1, 2020)

The value of State’s share of Employee’s Retirement Contribution:  18.91% of pay for Confidential positions, 

The value of State-paid Dental Insurance:  $14.60 biweekly.

The value* of State-paid Health Insurance: 
100% State Contribution = $470.99 biweekly / Employee pays nothing
95%  State Contribution = $447.44 biweekly / Employee pays: 5%  = $23.55 biweekly
90%  State Contribution = $423.89 biweekly / Employee pays:10% = $47.10 biweekly
85%  State Contribution = $400.34 biweekly / Employee pays:15% = $70.65 biweekly

*The level of the actual value of state paid Health Insurance will be based on the employee's wage rate and status with regard to the health credit premium payment. To explore the cost of coverage for specific situations, please consult these tables.

Maine State Government is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  We provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.