Dickens took up the newly created post this week, overseeing a five-strong team and providing guidance to the force’s nine regionally based PROs.
PROs stationed in each of the force’s nine districts will continue to report to area commanders, while Dickens reports to deputy chief constable Jim Barker-McCardle.
Chief constable Mike Fuller created the role after arriving at the force in the spring. A spokeswoman said: ‘We had a new chief constable at the beginning of the year who is committed to communications, as is Kent Police.’
It is hoped the new post will help the police to communicate services to the public.
Fuller said: ‘Good communication between the police and the public is essential in order for them to tell us about their concerns and for us to explain what we are doing and how on their behalf.’
Dickens trained as a reporter on the Kentish Times series before moving to the Kent Messenger Group’s Kent Evening Post. Her last job in journalism was features editor at Medway News.
She has also worked in the press office of Gillingham Council and in the PR department of Rochester-upon-Medway City Council. When the Medway Unitary Authority was established in 1998, Dickens was hired as its first comms manager.
She added: ‘I look forward to joining Kent Police at a time when so much is being done to work with the community to address the issues that concern people in the county.’