Popular television news personality from KPAX, Brenda Bassett, has been named the new civilian Public Information Officer for the Missoula County Sheriff's Office.

Undersheriff Jason Johnson made the announcement on Monday that after a search of several months, Bassett was chosen as the most qualified applicant. He said 29 individuals applied, and five were interviewed for the position.

'This is the first time that the sheriff's office will have a PIO that is not a sworn deputy," Johnson said. "We're excited about that for a number of reasons. First, we'll be able to utilize all our sworn deputies in a law enforcement role, and the other thing is that Brenda brings with her the journalism experience for not just our office, but the media she'll be working with every day."

Bassett will be responsible for meeting daily with media to disseminate information, she will also be the on-scene contact for breaking news stories involving the sheriff's office. She will also be in charge of building and maintaining social media accounts for the sheriff's office, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Previous public information officers included Undersheriff Johnson, and most recently Deputy Paige Pavalone.