September 15, 2023 12:15
The Portland Police Bureau has hired Mike Benner as its new Public Information Manager. Benner has approximately 20 years of experience in communications, spending the last 15 years as a reporter at KGW-TV, often reporting on law enforcement-related matters across the metro area. Prior to joining KGW, the Indiana University graduate was a reporter at WGBA-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and an anchor at WJFW-TV in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
“We are pleased to welcome Mike to the Portland Police Bureau,” said Chief Chuck Lovell. “Our sworn Public Information Officers do incredible work in a challenging job, but they also eventually move to different assignments. My goal is to build consistency in our communications—which is so critical in maintaining transparency and trust within the community.”
Benner is the first civilian to serve as Public Information Manager at PPB. He will oversee the Portland Police Bureau’s Strategic Communications Unit, which is responsible for informing the public of information that is critical to life safety, informs community members of public safety issues of concern, may involve the need for disclosure of activities at the Bureau, or may increase community trust and transparency. The unit provides information through multiple venues, including: news releases, press conferences, social media, interviews, website, podcasts and videos. The unit is also tasked with internal communications within PPB and collaborates with the Personnel Division’s recruiting team.
“I am beyond thrilled to be joining the Portland Police Bureau,” Benner said. “Providing accurate and timely information to the community, including matters involving public safety, is a task I do not take lightly. Our community relies on us to share critical public safety information and the important work being done by members of the PPB for the diverse communities we serve.”
In addition to Benner, the Strategic Communications Unit consists of a sworn Public Information Officer (PIO), a non-sworn PIO, two multi-media specialists and officers who work as PIOs on a detached basis. The unit also has an employee from the Bureau of Technology Services that provides web design, social media, and programming support.
Benner officially joined PPB started his new role at PPB on September 11, 2023.
More information about the Strategic Communications Unit is available here: https://www.portland.gov/police/divisions/public-information-office
Photo description: portrait of Mike Benner
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