THOMASVILLE — Public information officer (PIO) has been added to a Thomasville Police Department officer's roster of duties.
Effective Monday, Cpl. Crystal Parker will be responsible for providing information to the news media when requests are made to TPD and in situations in which the department wants to generate media interest.
"I'm honored to be given the trust and the opportunity to represent the department in community affairs," Parker said. "This appointment gives me the ability to highlight our involvement in the Thomasville community with the media. We work hard to stay active in community events and to build partnerships with other organizations. I look forward to continuing improvement of relations with our community partners, citizens and Thomasville youth."
Parker has been with the TPD for 11 years. She was a patrol officer and then a detective in the Criminal Investigations Division, where she specialized in sex crimes and crimes against children.
In May 2019, Parker transferred to the Community Relations Division, where serves as community relations coordinator and is responsible for coordinating and managing community outreach programs. She also assists in management of school resource officers.
Parker received an undergraduate degree in criminology from Florida State University and a master's in criminal justice from Boston University.
"This new assignment should be very seamless for (Cpl.) Parker, as she has been the department's social media PIO since 2014," said Thomasville Police Chief Troy Rich. "She has done an exceptional job managing that platform. I am incredibly excited for (Cpl.) Parker as she takes on this new role, and I think she will do a great job being the face of the organization."
Rich said Parker's PIO responsibilities include:
· Assisting news personnel in covering routine news stories and at the scene of incidents.
· Being available for on-call responses to the news media.
· Preparing and distributing news releases relating to departmental activities.
· Arranging for, and assisting at, news conferences.
· Coordinating and authorizing the release of appropriate information about victims, witnesses and suspects.
· Assisting in crisis situations.
· Coordinating and authorizing release of information concerning confidential departmental investigations and operations.
"It's good to be on the good, positive interaction, the brighter side of police work," said the 38-year-old Tallahassee native. "As PIO, I want to be able to help establish trust in the community and give legitimacy to law enforcement."
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820