Winner: Lt. Jeff Hallock, Public Information Officer, Orange County Sheriff's Department
Lt. Jeff Hallock, PIO for the Orange County Sheriff's Department, handled the crisis communications and media relations around a January 22, 2016 jail escape and shined in a big moment.
Upon receiving the initial news, Lt. Hallock started reaching out to the media to keep them informed of the incident. As time passed and the media became more interested in the story, Lt. Hallock managed both the local and national media, carefully paying attention to each relationship. He made strategic decisions to engage different media outlets at different times, all while providing twice-daily press conferences with the most up-to-date information possible.
From the onset of the crisis, Lt. Hallock remained flexible and willing to adjust his crisis communications/media relations strategy to the information available at the moment.
Lt. Hallock decided when and how to utilize the Sheriff to deliver certain messages. At the conclusion of the escape, Lt. Hallock led the department in a final wrap-up press conference, providing as much detail as possible about the escape and subsequent manhunt.
Lt. Hallock possesses innumerable leadership qualities that have guided him in his career. First and foremost, he is dedicated. During the eight-day crisis/media event, Lt. Hallock worked over 16 hours each day without pause. In addition, his relationship management skills are unparalleled. Not only did Lt. Hallock delicately balance both local and national media relationships with reporters and producers, but he utilized the internal relationships that he has spent a career building.
- Ted Dabrowski, Illinois Policy Institute
- John Drengenberg, Underwriters Laboratories (UL)