Media and Communications Unit
The Media and Communications Unit (MCU) is a three-person office based in Police Headquarters that is responsible for the organization’s external and internal corporate communications. All information provided to the media and public outside of freedom of information requests originates from the MCU. It issues at least five hundred press releases per year on crime and public safety incidents, arrests and charges, police operations and investigations, public safety messages and corporate policies. In addition to informing the media and public of crime and public safety incidents, the MCU also responds to queries from the media on a wide range of issues, often in consultation with senior management. It also arranges and participates in regular appearances in the media with police officers, in print, on the radio and on television.
The MCU was formed in late 2017 as a result of an organizational strategic decision to expand the RCIPS communications portfolio beyond media management and engage more proactively with the public through new media. In order to build this more robust engagement, the RCIPS grew its communications team to three people and allocated funding to develop this new website.
This website in particular enables several new and direct channels of communication between the police and public. These include the immediate availability of all RCIPS press releases online, confidential submissions of tips and feedback to the police, and direct submissions of administrative forms and applications. The MCU is responsible for the website’s overall content, building and maintaining these information channels, and regularly updating and engaging with the public on the organization’s social media presences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
While the MCU expands and updates the RCIPS’ external communications infrastructure, it is also tasked with renewing its communications strategies and message, in close consultation with senior management. This tasking necessitates a thorough review of both external and internal organizational communications in 2018.
Lastly, the MCU works closely with all departments, but especially the Community Policing Department as well as Traffic and Roads Policing Unit, to support outreach and public education initiatives such as the Skate Park Initiative and Streetskills. The MCU regularly liaises with other government departments to develop inter-agency public education campaigns.
The MCU is headed by a Spokesperson, who is supported by a Police Media Officer and Media Relations Officer.