Preparing for any crisis is what Evie West must do in her job with the Cleveland Police Department, West, a sergeant with the CPD has served as the public …
Preparing for any crisis is what Evie West must do in her job with the Cleveland Police Department,
West, a sergeant with the CPD has served as the public information officer for the department since 2008, and has had to be involved in several cases during those nine years. Among those cases have been homicides, kidnappings and fatal accidents.
More recently, she was involved in a missing person case.
"That case really affected me, and being a mom, it really caused me to be emotional about the case," she said. "The chief (Mark Gibson) could see that I was emotional, but he said 'this is what I was trained for,', so I worked as any officer should working with the public and the media.
Working with the media is one of the areas West concentrates on. She said public information officers must not only prepare for crisis, but train other officers on what to say or do when a crisis occurs and stay up-to-date on communication trends and tips.
When asked if social media helps or hurts law enforcement, West said it can do both. West is in charge of the CPD's Facebook page, which she said helps get information out to the public, but must be used properly.
West is in charge of working with the media, and she said connections with radio, television and newspapers are important in getting information out to the public.
"We need to work with the media as well as we can. The media can help us not only get the information about crimes and other cases to the public, but also help us in solving cases," she said.
West was joined at the CMA meeting by Chief Gibson and Capt. Stacy Smith.
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