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Sheriff's Office 'front and center'
Sheriff and Gena Bilbo corrected
Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie and Public Information Office Gena Bilbo believe dispensing information to the public is an important task. - photo by Photo by Rick Lott

SPRINGFIELD -- When a military C-130 crashed on Hwy 21 in Port Wentworth on May 2, it was Effingham County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Gena Bilbo who was front and center, providing information to area media representatives.
Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said that is typical of the kind of help and cooperation that is exemplified by the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office. He said that by making their Effingham PIO available, it freed Port Wentworth’s police chief and fire chief to take charge of the disaster scene.
Bilbo has a great background for handling these kinds of emergencies, having been on the media side of things as well as being a qualified police officer. She even served as the PIO for the Chatham County Sheriff’s office and the Metro Police Department when it was Metro. She knows what the media representatives need and what information can be provided.
Thinking back to the past couple of hurricanes that came through Effingham County, the sheriff said, “As the chief law enforcement agency in the county, a lot falls back on us outside the city to make sure the roads are safe, the people are safe.”
McDuffie said in times like that sheriff’s office personnel will often go from house to house to make sure residents are safe. He said the fire department and EMS operate the same way by cooperating with other agencies to make sure everyone is safe.
He said, “They all pitch in and work together and that makes things a whole lot easier.”

See the May 23 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.