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City of Boulder
Boulder, CO, United States
18 days ago
Colorado Springs, CO, US
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City of Boulder
Boulder, Colorado, United States
18 days ago


Under limited direction of the Director of Communications and Engagement, the Communication Sr. Manager – Public Safety/Critical Response position establishes the operational objectives, work plans, performance and professional development for communication staff members in two areas: police and fire; develops and implements strategies and public messages for incidents, situations, emergencies that require a crisis communication lens; serves as an on-call and key city spokesperson, in partnership with the department director, on sensitive, high-profile matters; and is involved in developing, modifying and executing policies that affect departmental and in some cases, citywide, operations. 


As a key leadership position, the Communication Sr. Manager must demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Keen Understanding of Crisis Communication Principles and Best Practices: demonstrates aptitude, knowledge and work experience associated with the specialized field of crisis communications; this position will be expected to apply this lens and skills both traditionally, in the context of public safety, but also less traditionally, in stressors that do not directly involve police and fire response, such as public health emergencies, floods, economic stressors, controversial political issues, etc. 
  • Positive and Problem-Solving Orientation: recognizes and identifies challenges but also seeks out and communicates effectively about possible solutions; exhibits a can-do attitude; and emphasizes opportunities. 
  • Ability to Handle Ambiguity: works well within an evolving environment; remains effective when the vision, direction and/or path is vague or unclear; and performs within an acceptable level of risk. 
  • Strategic Agility: continuously adapts and adjusts; can create strategies for innovative solutions that best fit the organization; actively monitors possible implementation problems and evolving needs; and selects efficient and effective alternatives. 
  • Political Savvy: creates consensus through good inter-personal skills and has a strong understanding of political issues; maintains high ethical standards while working subtly and effectively with the organizational structure; avoids missteps by calculating the outcome and consequences of alternative courses of action based on a realistic assessment of the situation; is fully aware of the political landscape and adjusts actions, as necessary, to avoid pitfalls.  
  • Media Savvy: adept at both on-camera and off-camera interviews on a wide variety of topics; understands the importance of developing and maintaining positive working relationships with reporters; familiar with changing media landscape and leverages all opportunities to represent the city effectively in different formats 
  • Organizational Agility: demonstrates a clear understanding that police and fire functions are performed in the context and political dynamics of a local government structure; performs work in a holistic and coordinated way; displays comfort operating within all levels of the organization to obtain successful outcomes; interacts with internal and external stakeholders and customers in a manner that supports citywide and organizational values; regularly demonstrates a service ethos that results in effective, efficient and accountable support for internal and external customers. 
  • Ability to Motivate Others: facilitates a positive work environment that supports peak performance; has the ability to determine what encourages others; and demonstrates an ability to delegate while fostering independent decision-making.  
  • Innovation Management: actively solicits and fosters the ideas of others, evaluating those ideas for their practical and creative merits as solutions to current and future problems and to improve the services valued by customers; understands the value of continuous learning. 
  • Proven Aptitude for Planning/Project Management: accurately identifies length and difficulty of tasks and projects; sets objectives and goals; breaks down work into the process steps; develops schedules and task/people assignments; anticipates and adjusts for problems and roadblocks; measures performance against goals; and evaluates results.  



  1. Performs the following leadership functions: 
  • Serves as a member of the city’s Communication and Engagement L-Team, assisting in developing strategies and plans related to public safety and critical response communications. 
  • Serves as a consultant to all city departments on issues related to this specialized and sensitive area of communications. This counsel may be provided directly or through direct reports and/or Communication and Engagement staff assigned to departments. 
  • Ensures that the departmental strategic plan reflects a compelling vision and clear action steps related to critical response communications; oversees efforts to achieve stated goals in these focus areas, as well as metrics to evaluate the department’s progress. 
  • Seeks and implements opportunities to improve processes and platforms to share information about general public safety services and programs as well as emergency information and information related to the organization’s most complex and impactful work, including cross-departmental efforts and top council priorities. 
  • Through thoughtful delegation and oversight, guides the department’s readiness and overall response to emergencies and activations of the Emergency Operations Center. 
  • Serves as a senior-level and on-call responder in critical response and emergency situations, both in accordance with rotation schedule and as assigned. Potential duties include serving as lead Public Information Officer (PIO)/Joint Information System Manager and field PIO in cases when the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated, as well as in city-only emergencies. 
  • Serves as first point of back-up for unanticipated incoming requests for service to the department when the director of Communication and Engagement is unavailable. 
  • Manages contracts and relationships with outside vendors that augment the city’s critical response communication capacity. 
  • Keeps current with industry trends and emerging technologies that support successful and innovative critical response communication. 
  • Remains aware of sensitive, confidential or political issues and provides counsel that reflects this understanding.

Performs the following public safety and critical response communication management responsibilities: 

  • Directs and supervises communication staff in the areas of police and fire, providing oversight as they develop strategic plans, implement project-specific work, set performance goals and seek to achieve these goals. 
  • Leads the department’s the EOC rotation system to ensure there is adequate training and coverage to respond to emergency situations. 
  • Represents the Communication and Engagement Department on ad-hoc emergency committees, such as the COVID Response and Recovery Team. 
  • Shares responsibility for after-hours, on-call PIO duties for the police and fire departments with direct reports in these areas; shifts are determined through a rotation schedule. 
  • Drafts, and in partnership with the director of Communication and Engagement, approves, executive-level external messaging related to situations and topics of high sensitivity. 
  • In collaboration with the Communication Manager – Digital and Internal Services, ensures that executive-level internal messaging related to emergencies, critical response situations and high-sensitivity topics is appropriate and effective. 
  • Recommends departmental level crisis response goals and targets to Communication and Engagement Director or designee and tracks all measurements in conformance with associated city policies and procedures. 
  • Serves as an information resource to internal staff to assist with any communication that requires a crisis communication lens or approach. 
  • Develops annual process improvement and training plans related to preparedness and critical response; may serve as trainer on some topics. 
  • Upholds social media, web content and branding policies and guidelines in all city communication, including critical response messaging. 
  • Leverages citywide editorial and planning tools to schedule and prepare for proactive critical response, emergency and preparedness information. 
  • Develops and cultivates positive relationships with communication responders in neighboring jurisdictions.


  • 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. 
  • Demonstrates responsible fiscal stewardship of department resources and funds. 



Bachelor's degree in Communication, Journalism, Public Relations, Public Administration, or related field and a minimum of six (6) years' experience in communication. (An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered). Demonstrated experience and aptitude in communicating related to crises or emergencies, or in other critical response situations. Minimum of four (4) years’ supervisory experience.  Demonstrated experience in engaging and leading staff and helping to shape a positive culture within an organization and the ability to communicate complex issues, lead successful initiatives and direct staff with clarity. Key leadership competencies, as described previously in this description. 

Excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills, including demonstrated ability to write news releases and respond appropriately to media questions both on and off camera. Experience and high comfort level as the media spokesperson for an organization. Ability to respond to requests in a timely manner and to use discretion with confidential information. Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. Demonstrated ability to resolve issues using own initiative, under minimal supervision, time pressure, and in difficult situations. Computer literate (Microsoft Word), including Internet posting, e-mail and database management. Familiar with Associated Press Stylebook. 

Ability and willingness to work evenings and weekends, including availability for communication response to emergencies on a 24-hour basis. This includes, if other city communication staff are unavailable, responding to emergency scenes in which media are present until situation is resolved or until all media have left the scene.   

Valid driver’s license and independent transportation to attend to all essential functions.  Have and maintain acceptable background information, including criminal conviction history and motor vehicle record.   

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS – In addition to the required minimum qualifications: 

Experience in municipal government or large public or private agency. Experience working with police, fire, or other emergency agencies. E/L 0388 Advanced PIO certification. Experience handling sensitive and confidential material. Experience with the leveraging website and social media to share critical information. Experience with budget development and/or management. 

Job Information

  • Job ID: 63776211
  • Location:
    Boulder, Colorado, United States
  • Position Title: Communication Sr Manager Public Safety Critical Response
  • Company Name For Job: City of Boulder
  • Job Function: Media Relations
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Min Education: None
  • Min Experience: 5-7 Years
  • Required Travel: 0-10%
  • Salary: $108,784.00 - $1,321,912.00 (Yearly Salary)
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