Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Hardin MT: American Police Force hires Billings Gazette reporter
APF's Newest Employee
By Sarah Gravlee
Story Published: Sep 29, 2009 at 7:34 PM MDT
Story Updated: Sep 30, 2009 at 6:52 AM MDT
HARDIN - The California-based security company planning to take over the Hardin jail promises to hire dozens of local employees. Last week they made their first local hire when they signed former Billings Gazette reporter Becky Shay as their director of public relations.
Shay still needs a map to get around the 114,000 square foot facility. With 20 years of reporting under her belt, Shay said she's more comfortable with a pen in her hand and topping her to-do list is purchasing new reporter's notebooks.
"I've got printer's ink in my blood," she said.
On Friday, Shay shocked local media when she handed in her resignation at the Billings Gazette and began working for American Police Force. Less than 24 hours after taking the job Shay held her first press conference.
"It was just surreal to stand in front of people I worked with for 9 year instead of standing shoulder to shoulder with them," she said. Shay's previously reported on the Hardin Jail and American Police Force's involvement with the jail. The last story she filed was Thursday night, after she had already been in negotiations with Capt. Michael with APF. Shay's editor said he had no idea she was in talks with the company. So what did it take for her to join the force?
"My terms were: I don't want the moon and the stars, but I'd like to be able to see them from the patio," Shay said. She is earning $60,000 dollars a year, received a signing bonus, a brand new company car and is getting help making the down payment on a new home.
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