Editor's note: This story has been updated to add more details.
Local news anchor Tony Cipolla has been hired as public information officer for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Ian Parkinson announced.
The sheriff made the offer earlier today, after completing a background check. Cipolla will make $70,804 annually, plus benefits. He will start July 1.
Cipolla will succeed Rob Bryn, who died March 1.
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Parkinson told The Tribune he was “looking for someone with a media background, who is connected with and understands the needs of the media.”
Having a person with that knowhow, Parkinson said, will help the department get information out to the general public.
Parkinson said Cipolla will bring a fresh perspective and “be able to balance the Sheriff’s Office duty of investigating crime with that of keeping the public informed.”
“Rob’s passing left a huge void at the Sheriff’s Office that impacted the relationship we had built with the media and the community we serve,” Parkinson wrote in a news release.
“Tony comes to us with a tremendous amount of experience with the media and deep roots in the community,” he added.
Cipolla worked for KSBY as an evening anchor and is currently with KCOY as a morning anchor.
As part of the “highly competitive” testing process, Parkinson wrote in a news release, “Tony took it upon himself to conduct a tremendous amount of research into the Sheriff’s Office operations to make sure this position was a good fit for him and his family as well as the Sheriff’s Office.”