Public information officer
Heather Hamel is the public information officer for the Manchester Police Department.
Explain your job and what it entails.
I handle all inquiries from the media, write press releases, conduct interviews and organize press conferences. I also manage the police department’s social media pages both with print and video content that I gather. I highlight all of the positive things police officers do every day that the general public may not even realize.
How long have you had this job?
What led you to this career field and your current job?
I was a television news reporter for close to two decades. I understand what the media is looking for and feel comfortable speaking with reporters. Working at the local television station, I was already well-acquainted with the Manchester Police Department, having visited the station on numerous occasions to do interviews with officers. It was a natural fit.
What kind of education or training did you need?
I have a bachelor of science degree in mass communications. I also completed several internships during my college career and went on to work in both radio and television news.
What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?
I don’t have a uniform, but I am expected to dress nicely: dress pants and a nice top or a dress.
What is the most challenging thing about your work, and how do you deal with it?
At a police department you never know when something may happen. I am responsible for getting pertinent information out to the media, who then disseminate it to the public. This can happen at any time of day or night. I have my phone with me at all times and respond as quickly as possible whether I am on or off the clock.
What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?
You are always learning and growing. There are constant changes in the industry, and you need to be adaptable. Don’t stagnate.
What do you wish other people knew about your job?
What a great group of people work here. The people who work at this police department genuinely care about the community and it is an honor to showcase their hard work and talents.
What was the first job you ever had?
Grocery store cashier.
What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?
Keep it clear and concise. Talk in sound bites.
Favorite book: Anything by Harlan Coben or Linwood Barclay. I love mysteries.
Favorite movie: Grease
Favorite music: Pop/rock or most anything from the ’80s
Favorite food: Pizza, sushi, lobster
Favorite thing about NH: The Lakes Region
Featured photo: Lacey Brown. Courtesy photo.