The Cambridge Police Department hired a new spokesperson, 23-year-old Daniel M. Riviello, on Friday, ending a four-month long search.
A graduate of Hartwick College who majored in political science and economics, Riviello begins as “communications specialist,” a newly-created, non-police force position, on May 24 with a salary of $42,293.
“I’ve always been interested in public service,” Riviello said. “This job seemed like a perfect fit between my skills and my passion.”
Riviello said that he hopes to revitalize the relationship between the police force and the community, in the wake of last July’s arrest of Harvard African-American Studies Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. which led to national media attention, and ended with Gates and the officer who arrested him, Sgt. James Crowley, sharing a beer at the White House with President Barack Obama.
The scandal ultimately led to the reassignment of former Cambridge Police Department Spokesperson Frank D. Pasquarello.
“This is a great opportunity for the Cambridge Police Department to start over with the media and the community and to build new positive relationships,” Riviello said.
Riviello also said that he believes his youth will help in his planned efforts to involve the many college students in Cambridge in the Police Department’s work.
“I want to really engage the youth in Cambridge,” he said. “I will get young people involved by using social media like Facebook and Twitter to communicate in the area in the ways that young people do today.”
Riviello added that the fact that the position is new gives him more space to define it himself.
“I can go in and make it my own,” he said.
Riviello currently works as the Public Relations Coordinator and member of the marketing department Book of Odds, a start-up website in Boston that provides information about probability, where he has been employed since June of 2008.
Riviello said he has never worked for a Police Department before, but has been involved in public service and worked for Mass. Senator John F. Kerry in 2006.
-Staff writer Sofia E. Groopman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org