COLUMBIA — Stephanie Drouin has become the third officer in the public relations unit of the Columbia Police Department.
Drouin joins fellow public information officer Latisha Stroer and public relations unit supervisor Sgt. Jill Schlude in the unit.
Previously, the duties of the post were handled by Stroer, with Schlude's assistance. Schlude said she hoped the new appointment would more quickly and efficiently help the media.
"We are trying to be a lot more proactive," she said.
Stroer and Drouin will split their duties between media contact and presentations on topics such as personal safety and bullying in public schools, Schlude said. The public relations unit does more than 150 events a year, she said.
Drouin is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism. She joined the Columbia Police Department as a reserve officer in 1992 and was hired full time in 1993.
“It's kind of like coming home, dealing with the media. I'm just on the other side of it," she said.
After six years as a patrol officer, Drouin worked in crime prevention, teaching in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program and working with community groups such as Neighborhood Watch. She has also worked as a school resource officer, member of the mounted team, crisis negotiator and crisis intervention officer.