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Bilbo in position to help county agencies, public
Deputy Gena Bilbo has been in her new post for one month. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD -- There is something symbolic about Deputy Gena Bilbo's office. It doesn't have a door, projecting a sense of openness that she and her boss, Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie, want.

Bilbo was named public information officer (PIO) for the sheriff's office and other county agencies one month ago. In addition to her law enforcement role, she handles media requests on behalf of the Effingham County Board of Commissioners, Fire and Rescue, and EMS.

"I'm available to any of them if they need me," Bilbo said.

McDuffie made some adjustments to the sheriff's office budget to create Bilbo's position, a move fully supported by commissioners He wanted someone who could distribute information about criminal cases and other county business in a timely, factual manner.

"I want to help anybody we can as much as we can help them," he said. "If the county or  fire department  need help -- I know the city police departments have their own things -- but helping people is what we're here for. That's what I've asked Gena to do."

See the Sept. 20 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.