The Springfield Police Department hired a five-year City Utilities of Springfield employee as its new public affairs officer.
Cris Swaters, CU's social media specialist, starts at the SPD on Jan. 24, according to a news release. She succeeds Jasmine Bailey, who took a job late last year as Drury University's director of university communications and media relations.
“The role of the public affairs officer is a vital piece in our overall communication strategy, and she will serve as the primary point of contact for both public and media inquiries,” Police Chief Paul Williams said in the release. “Building on the work of previous PAOs, Cris will continue to enhance our efforts to engage with our citizens. Having an experienced professional in this role is essential.”
Swaters will report to Williams and Cora Scott, the city's director of public information and civic engagement.
As SPD's PAO, Swaters will develop, coordinate and administer communication and marketing programs to promote the department's programs and services, according to the release.
Swaters becomes the latest in a series of public relations officers to make moves in recent months. In addition to SPD, CU and Drury, recent actions impacted BKD LLP, CoxHealth and Paul Mueller Co. (OTC: MUEL), according to past reporting.
Element Springfield South opened; Outlaw Gentlemen Barbershop added a second location; and wellness studio Stretch Zone launched.