Veteran television news reporter Larry Flowers has agreed to become the Murfreesboro Police Department's new Public Information Officer, the city of Murfreesboro announced.
He will start the position on Jan. 22 and report to Public Information Director Mike Browning within the City Manager's Office.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Larry as our new PIO,” said Murfreesboro Police Chief Michael Bowen. “Larry is well-respected among individuals in both media and law enforcement professions. His broad knowledge of public relations and journalism principles and practices enable him to more fully understand the importance of keeping the community informed. We know Larry will continue that reputation in his role as a public safety communicator.”
Flowers takes the job more than a year after Sgt. Kyle Evans left the city's employment and took a job with McMinnville's Police Department.
As for Flowers, he comes to the city with a wealth of experience in the communications field, having worked nearly 29 years in television news. Most recently, Flowers has served as a Multimedia Journalist for WKRN News 2 in Nashville. He held the same position at WSMV Channel 4 News, also in Nashville, for 14 years.
“It is an honor and privilege that Chief Mike Bowen and City Manager Craig Tindall have confidence in me for this position,” Larry Flowers said. “My background in television news will afford me the opportunity to work closely with area media partners in disseminating information in a timely manner. In addition, I look forward to telling positive stories about the men and women of MPD who put their lives on the line everyday protecting and serving the citizens of Murfreesboro.”
Larry's reporting skills will be used on CityTV, as well as YouTube, Facebook and the city's other social media platforms.
A Mississippi native, Flowers has a bachelor's degree in Radio, TV and Film with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1989.
He also attended Jackson State University and Tougaloo College. Flowers is an Emmy-nominated journalist. He has won many awards for his reporting and news photography. Flowers served as a student instructor and taught radio production classes at Southern Mississippi. He was also a volunteer instructor at Jackson State University and taught an Electronic News Gathering production lab. He and his family currently reside in Rutherford County.
Flowers also celebrates his birthday on Leap Day, Feb. 29.
Flowers will serve as part of the public information team within the City Manager's office but will be housed at the new Murfreesboro Police Headquarters on Highland Avenue.
The mission of the City's Public Information Office is to communicate city policy and initiatives, increasing civic participation through a variety of communication outlets (broadcast and social media), and facilitating internal communications within the organization.
As part of the reorganization, Ashley McDonald, who has served as spokeswoman for the Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department, is being elevated to assistant public information officer serving the City Manager's Public Information Office. McDonald will continue to serve as PIO for the MFRD while assisting the PIO Director with external and internal communications and event planning.
McDonald has served as Murfreesboro Fire Rescue PIO since 2012 and has been with the City of Murfreesboro since March 2007.
She was recently elected vice president of the National Information Officers Association (NIOA) and will graduate from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute's Master PIO Program in September 2019. McDonald is a 2005 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism with emphasis in Public Relations.