The Minneapolis Police Department hired two new spokespeople on Friday, replacing Cyndi Barrington, who had spent much of the past year fielding media calls and running news conferences for the agency.
The new hires, John Elder and Scott Seroka, have backgrounds in law enforcement and broadcast journalism, according to a MPD press release issued Friday. Elder, a New Hope City Council member, has 21 years of law enforcement experience and has spent the past two years as the manager of intellectual properties for the MPD. He begins his public information officer duties immediately.
Seroka was a KARE11 reporter for the past eight years. He has 16 years of experience as a reporter, anchor and photojournalist. He reports for his first day of work sometime early next year, according to the release.
Barrington, who joined the PIO staff shortly after Chief Janeé Harteau was appointed one year ago, will spend her last day on the job Friday. She was offered a full-time position with the MPD but turned it down in November, according to the department.
It's Barrington's second departure from the MPD spokesperson gig. She worked for former Chief Robert Olson, resigning in early 2003 after Mayor R.T. Rybak issued a memo stating police officials needed permission from city communications staff before talking to reporters. The new policy would have meant Barrington reported to a city communications person rather than the MPD. The policy was later changed.