Praise for Connecticut State Police spokesperson

Lt. J. Paul Vance is described as ‘composed yet compassionate’ in handling media inquiries after the unthinkable tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

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As the school’s chief communicator, Magara had led the massive media relations effort in the minutes, hours, days, and months after the Feb. 14, 2008, shooting.

When we met, she conceded that she was exhausted and that the enormity of the situation had only begun to sink in.

“I think all of us feel something settling in, you know?” she told me at the time. “Many of us three, four months since the event, only now find ourselves thinking about it and allowing ourselves to grieve.”

Margara is among a number of professional communicators at schools, law enforcement agencies, companies, and places of worship who were responsible for keeping the public and the media informed in the aftermath of mass shootings.

Last Friday, Lt. J. Paul Vance joined this group after a lone gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and killed 20 children and six adults. For 15 years, Vance has led the public information office for the Connecticut State Police. His tireless work in the days after the shooting has won him praise from journalists, law enforcement officials, and PR practitioners.

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