|KNOXVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT (KPD)
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
800 Howard Baker Jr. Ave
Knoxville, TN 37915
KPD Phone List
The Knoxville Police Departments Public Information Office is
a 24-hour a day, 7 day a week operation. Darrell DeBusk oversees one
of the most advanced PIO offices in the country. Darrell has 17 years
experience in television both as a photojournalist and most recently
as the Assignment Manager for one of the top NBC affiliates in the country.
He is a member of the National Information Officers Association.
The KPD has twenty-seven Assistant Public Information Officers spread
throughout the department. Because of this staffing, the KPD is able
to respond to media calls for service at a moments notice. These
officers respond to calls for media assistance while on duty only. The
Public Information Office is assigned to the Police Chief's office and
is physically in the Chiefs suite. Darrell answers directly to
Chief Sterling Owen and is considered a member of his Command Staff.
The Public Information Office is structured to support the entire Knoxville
Police Department. Its main function is to promote the department in a
positive manner to both the general public and the news media. One way
in which that goal is obtained is through periodic meetings with local
media outlets to address their questions or concerns. These meetings allow
them to have input on the media guidelines or to offer suggestions for
fostering positive police / media relations.
The Public Information Office also has thirty mailboxes on a taped news
line, or Code-A Phone system, which can be accessed from any phone by
the media. Regular updates to the media in the Knoxville market start
at 6 A.M. each day. Updates are placed on the Code-A-Phone as warranted
throughout the day. All Knoxville Police Department cruisers have videotape
cameras and lap top computers, thus adding to the immediate response for
the public information function.
The Police Chief has been insistent on the very best in training for
the PIO staff, as he does for the more than 500 sworn and civilian members
of the department. The current staff of Assistant Public Information
officers went through a one-week school with media members from the
Knoxville market as well as nationally known consultants in radio and
television. These men and women were also given hands-on training in
a real life setting, which enabled them to perform on the streets with
perfection. Each and very PIO has taken the job voluntarily with no