Police PR strategy changes with new communications person

Stephanie MacRae, the Cornwall Community Police Service communications coordinator, introduces herself to the media during an event at police headquarters on Thursday, March 29, 2018. MacRae will be taking over duties from Const. Dan Cloutier. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The city’s police force is changing the way it deals with the public and the media.

The Cornwall Community Police Service announced that Stephanie MacRae will be the new communications coordinator for the CCPS, during an information session at police headquarters on Pitt Street Thursday morning.

MacRae – a University of Ottawa graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a minor in Political Science – will take over the duties held by Const. Dan Cloutier.

Cloutier had served in the role since 2013 and said it was “a great chapter in my career.”

It’s possibly the first time in the force’s history a police officer won’t be the first point of communication with the media and public on the administrative side.

Chief Designate Danny Aikman says starting this transition “off on the right foot,” along with new initiatives to come, will “improve” and “enhance” their dealings with members of the public, including reporters.

“We find ourselves at a time we are being asked to do more with no more. Because of that we have to be creative with how we use our budgets,” Aikman said.

“It allows us to redeploy the police resource that was in charge of media relations for the last five years,” he added.

Stephanie MacRae – born and raised in Cornwall – will be working closely Cloutier, who will be working in the role of crime reduction and community partnerships.

She was hired in 2014 as a data inputter, which she says gave her a lot of insight into the operations of policing and has helped her make an easy transition into her current role.

MacRae says she wants to focus on community policing, highlighting the lives of officers outside of “making arrests” and “fighting crimes.”

“I’m truly looking forward to our ongoing relationship,” MacRae said.