The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Periscope and Meerkat

By Mark Economou

Mark Economou

Mark is the Public Information Officer for the Boca Raton Police Department in Boca Raton, Florida. Follow Mark on Twitter @BocaPolice.

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Two new social media apps have hit the streets and they are taking off like wildfire. They are called Meerkat and Periscope. Both do the same exact thing; the difference is Periscope is owned by Twitter and seems to have taken the lead. Simply, they are live video streaming apps and are available on all smart phones. In the not so distant past, when breaking news took place everyone would tweet it, many stories broke via Twitter and Facebook. Pictures and videos were tweeted within minutes. It was beating the news business to the news and changed the way stories were covered. The same for Law Enforcement. We turned to Twitter and Facebook to get the information out accurately and quickly. Already that seems too slow because with the push of one button users can start streaming live video worldwide to whoever is also on the app. This gives a new meaning to instant news. It also gives Law Enforcement advantages and some disadvantages. First the advantages: It allows Law Enforcement to broadcast live from a sc ...

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Friday, April 03, 2015

Nextdoor: The Next Big Thing for LESM?

By IACP Center for Social Media

IACP Center for Social Media

IACP's Center for Social Media is a clearinghouse of information and no-cost resources to help law enforcement use social media.

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Has your agency signed up for Nextdoor yet? If not, you should consider signing up for this free, private social network and joining more than 700 government agencies and police departments already using it across the United States. Nextdoor is a fantastic way to open lines of communication within your community, the sort of two-way engagement that is a key component of the IACP’s new Presidential Initiative “Protect and Serve.”  Nextdoor has enjoyed exponential growth since their launch in 2012, and is now in use in more than 56,000 neighborhoods across the country. Here in Palo Alto, we’ve been using Nextdoor since October 2013, and we’ve seen a number of benefits that are unique to their platform.  The primary benefit is that Nextdoor only enrolls verified residents of your jurisdiction into their platform.  At the time one of your residents creates an account, they have to provide proof of residency to Nextdoor.  No other social media platform that ...

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Using Vine to Solicit Tips and Reach Out to the Community

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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By now Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are commonplace names among law enforcement agencies. However, there is a variety of other social media technologies that are worth considering in any communications outreach strategy to your respective communities. Vine, a short-form video sharing service owned by Twitter, is becoming a new valuable tool for the Cambridge, Massachusetts, Police Department and our Investigations Unit. Over the past few months, CPD has posted multiple videos to our Vine account asking for the public’s assistance in identifying suspects. Like its parent company, Twitter, Vine allows administrators to add brief descriptions that can feature searchable hashtags and other valuable contact information. One of our videos below , has been “looped,” or watched, approximately 1,600 times, giving residents an opportunity to contact us with any potential information about the suspect.   The CPD has determined that the Vine platform works we ...

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Using Social Media During the Snowstorm

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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Over the past week, APD has been busy with the normal social media posts on Twitter and Facebook with traffic reports, road conditions, and crash locations. We also took the time to humanize our officers and build the city's brand by being creative in strategically choosing iconic locations throughout the city that people love to see and hear about. The first post was simply a Texas flag viewable from the inside of Globe Life Park. This post netted over 1 million views (1,140,736) in less than one day, with more than 42,000 likes, comments, and shares. It even caught the attention of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. We also took an amazing photo of AT&T Stadium when the snow was coming down at a fast pace, which created a beautiful backdrop, and reached almost 200,000 people and had over 5,000 likes. The next post was of a snowman that was decorated with APD gear by the family of one of our officers. The post reached well over 200,000 people and generated over 14,000 likes, comments, and sh ...

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Social Media Fatigue

By Billy Grogan

Billy Grogan

Billy Grogan is the Chief of Police for the Dunwoody Police Department in Georgia. Follow Chief Grogan on Twitter @ChiefGrogan.

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Ok. Let’s be real for a minute. I am sure when you saw the title of this post you immediately thought “definitely” or something similar. Unfortunately, a good social media program can be a challenge when it comes to time. Many social media programs across the country are one shop endeavors. One person is responsible for all of the social media activity of their department. Still other departments have multiple staff using social media but the demand for more is always present. One of the first things to consider in addressing social media fatigue is to first acknowledge it. You can’t deal with a problem unless you acknowledge it is a problem. This is especially true with social media fatigue. The leaders who supervise the staff engaged with social media may not even recognize the staff is experiencing fatigue. In addition, those staff members who are responsible for the department’s social media program usually enjoy it so much they may not even bring the is ...

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

In Emergency Operations You Are Now the "Cleanup Hitter": Own It!

By Dave Norris

Dave Norris

Dave Norris is a sergeant with San Mateo, California, Police Department.

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Those of you who read this IACP Social Media Beat regularly - and who have established, or are establishing a social media presence in your jurisdictions - have probably noticed something about our public safety culture compared to the rest of our local public organization … We tend to step up when leadership is needed. For perfectly self-serving reasons (think Sir Robert Peel “The Police are the Public and the Public are the Police”), we in the public safety field are likely to have a much more robust and/or advanced community connection through social media than the rest of our public-sector colleagues. With this in mind, I ask you to put yourself in a scenario: STORMWATCH It is that time of year for your organization – whether it is tornado season in the Midwest, hurricane season on the coast, blizzard season in the East, or monsoon season out West … and your local jurisdiction is opening up your local Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to deal ...

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Friday, February 06, 2015

Help Deter Cybercrime by Participating in Global Safer Internet Day

By IACP Center for Social Media

IACP Center for Social Media

IACP's Center for Social Media is a clearinghouse of information and no-cost resources to help law enforcement use social media.

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Cybercrime is a global threat to the economic and the physical security of every nation. It is one of the leading crime problems facing the world today and in the foreseeable future. That is why IACP President Richard Beary made cybercrime one of his Presidential Initiatives this year. Our law enforcement organizations must be prepared to recognize and investigate these crimes. As part an effort to raise awareness around cybercrime and to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, the IACP will be sharing over social media a monthly tip in a hope to help reduce cybercrime. We will be kicking off the monthly tip by participating in Global Safer Internet Day on February 10, 2015. In celebration of Global Safer Internet Day, we will be posting the following tip on the IACP’s social media accounts. We encourage you to participate in this day by sharing our post, posting the tip displayed below, or creating one of your own.    ...

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Using Social Media to Protect and Serve

By IACP Center for Social Media

IACP Center for Social Media

IACP's Center for Social Media is a clearinghouse of information and no-cost resources to help law enforcement use social media.

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As regular readers—and even those not-so-regular readers—of The Social Media Beat know, law enforcement agencies of all sizes across the world are using social media in innovative and effective ways. Social media provides law enforcement agencies the opportunity to reach out to, and engage, a broad and diverse audience. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or one of the many other social media platforms out there, social media opens the lines of communication, creates new levels of transparency, and enhances relationships between community members and law enforcement. In fact, in the 2014 Social Media Survey, more than 75 percent of agencies surveyed stated that social media had improved police-community relations in their jurisdiction. IACP Director of Research and Programs, and former Chief of Police in Greenville, North Carolina, Hassan Aden, testified before the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing about the importance of leveraging social media, ...

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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Looking back, looking forward at the JeffCo Sheriff's Office

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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Whether you’re looking to take your agency’s social media efforts to the next level in 2015 or just sticking your toes in the water, the beginning of the year is the perfect time to reflect on the good work you’ve done and make solid plans for how to build on that in the future.   Too often we’re too busy to take the time to enjoy all the positive things we’ve done with social media. That’s why it’s important to take a few minutes to focus on those things to remind you WHY social media is important. From identifying and capturing wanted suspects to offering resources for those in situations from suicidal thoughts to domestic violence, social media plays a crucial outreach role in how law enforcement interacts with its community. Through the power of social media, your information, your words, your actions, go straight into the minds of your citizens via their smartphones these days. That’s an incredible responsibility for an agenc ...

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Changing of the Social Media Guard, Sort Of

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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For the past six years, I have learned, led, shared and at times even foundered in my drive to find the best possible ways to use social media to advance the mission of the Richmond Police Department and engage with the community. Now it’s time to pass that torch to another as I take on a new role: Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in beautiful Golden, Colorado. Though it’s incredibly hard to leave a position where I’ve done such rewarding work, had so much fun doing so and feel like I’ve really made a difference in the community, it’s also incredibly exciting to step up to the next level and take on new challenges. I already have several fun and exciting ideas planned for the JeffCo Sheriff’s Office! But first, I wanted to take a look back. It’s interested to think back to six years ago when I first had the idea of creating a Facebook page for Richmond Police, and some of the cajoling I had to do to convince the ...

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About This Blog

So you have found, or perhaps stumbled upon, The Social Media Beat, the blog for the IACP Center for Social Media Web site. The Social Media Beat is about three things: social media, law enforcement, and perspective. Here you will find a fresh outlook on the issues that are affecting law enforcement agencies and their personnel when it comes to social media.

Social media is taking the world by storm. Social networks, blogs, photo and video sharing sites, and virtual communities are changing the way people live, work, and play. These tools present unique opportunities as well as challenges to the law enforcement community.  The Social Media Beat brings together a team of bloggers who will speak directly to you about hot topics and current issues.

Bloggers include IACP staff and practitioners in the field who can provide a unique front-line perspective. Our team cares about social media and wants to ensure that law enforcement across the country are knowledgeable and well-equipped to incorporate this technology.

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About the Authors

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, which is the largest, full-service sheriff’s office in the state of Colorado. Prior to that, she spent more than six years creating and leading the Richmond, Virginia, Police Department’s social media efforts, which led to international acclaim and recognition.

She has spoken about law enforcement and social media at more than a dozen conferences across the country in addition to four IACP annual conferences. Waugh is a former newspaper reporter who wrote about crime, police, and the court system for several years. That experience and an ingrained curiosity for what makes people tick has fueled her desire to improve communication between people. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

IACP Center for Social Media

IACP's Center for Social Media serves as a clearinghouse of information and no-cost resources to help law enforcement personnel to develop or enhance their agency's use of social media and integrate Web 2.0 tools into agency operations. The Center is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

Leon Robertson

Officer Leon Robertson is the Social Media Coordinator for the Hampton Police Division. Robertson has developed internationally recognized public safety messages, including the Jingle Bells “Holiday Safety Remix” in December 2013. He has extensive experience in graphic design, video & audio production, and managing various social media platforms. You can follow Officer Robertson’s efforts with the Hampton Police Division on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Tracy Phillips

Tracy is a Senior Project Specialist with the IACP. She is responsible for managing the day-to-day operation of the DiscoverPolicing.org Web site and coordinating the site's social networking plan. In addition, Ms. Phillips provides writing, editorial, and technical assistance on a variety of association projects and activities, including police management studies, job analyses, executives searches, federal grants, and various research projects and proposals. She has more than 10 years of experience in state and local government, including work as a management analyst, performance auditor, and crime analyst. Ms. Phillips holds a master's degree in public administration from the University of Georgia and a bachelor's from Clemson University.

Want to hear more from Tracy Phillips? Follow her and the Discover Policing team on TwitterFacebook, and on the Inside Discover Policing blog. You can also network with other police recruitment professionals in the Law Enforcement Recruitment LinkedIn group.

Zach Perron

Lieutenant Zach Perron is the public affairs manager for the Palo Alto (CA) Police Department. Zach was a 2014 visiting fellow at the IACP in the Center for Social Media. He serves on the steering committee for the Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group (BALESMG), and is a member of the US. Department of Homeland Security's Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG). He holds a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Stanford University and is now pursuing a graduate education at the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, California.  You can follow him on Twitter: @zpPAPD.

Dave Norris

Sergeant Dave Norris is a 21 year veteran of the City of San Mateo Police Department. He has worked in a number of positions including Juvenile Detective, Field Training Officer, Narcotics Detective, and Patrol Supervisor. Dave is currently assigned to Community and Media Relations and oversees day-to-day functions that involve the relationship between the police, the community, and the media. Dave is dedicated to the increase of community engagement through the use of social media. Under his management, San Mateo PD's direct subscribers to community alerts and public safety messaging has grown from several hundred to over 22,000.

Chris Hsiung

Captain Chris Hsiung commands the Field Operations Division at the Mountain View Police Department in California. Through the department Community Action and Information Unit (CAIU), he manages strategy, community engagement, and growth through the police department social media channels. Chris has been serving the Mountain View community for over 19 years and has held a variety of assignments within MVPD. These include detective assignments in Property Crimes, Person Crimes, and High Tech Crimes as well as collateral assignments on SWAT and the Field Evidence Team. He also serves on the planning committee for the Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group (BALESMG). You can follow him on Twitter @chMtnViewPD.

Lynn Hightower

Lynn is the Communications Director and Public Information Officer for the Boise Police Department and has served in that role since October, 2003. Lynn also serves at the PIO for the Boise Fire Department. Lynn authors and manages the social media outreach for Boise Police and often acts as media spokesperson. She advises officers from patrol to command staff on media and public communications skills. Lynn joined the Boise Police Department after 17 years as a television reporter, producer, anchor, and news director. Lynn regularly instructs new officers at the Boise Police Academy and has given media and public communications presentations to dozens of federal, state, and local emergency responder agencies. Follow Lynn and Boise Police on Twitter @BoisePD.

Billy Grogan

Billy Grogan is the Chief of Police for the Dunwoody Police Department in Georgia. Chief Grogan was hired on December 17, 2008, after serving 28 years with the Marietta, Georgia, Police Department, to start a brand new department. On April 1, 2009, the Dunwoody Police Department began operations with 40 sworn officers and eight civilians providing police services to the 47,000+ residents of the City of Dunwoody. Chief Grogan embraced the use of social media from day one of operations. The Dunwoody Police Department began using Twitter the first day and has added Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Vine to their arsenal since then as effective tools to market their department and engage their community. Chief Grogan has written about the benefits of law enforcements use of social media, participated in several social media focus groups and lectured at the IACP, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Conference, COPS Conference, and many other venues. Follow Chief Grogan on Twitter @ChiefGrogan and the Dunwoody Police Department @DunwoodyPolice.

Mark Economou

Mark Economou is the Public Information Officer for the Boca Raton Police Department in Boca Raton, Florida. His media and public relations background spans nearly 20 years. Spending nearly 15 years in radio and television news, Economou held many positions from assignment editor, reporter, anchor, and executive editor. After that, he served as the Director of Media Relations for Cote & D'Ambrosio, a Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising firm in Wickford, RI. He then served as head of Media Relations for Citizens Bank of Rhode Island, the 9th largest bank in the United States. Follow Mark on Twitter @BocaPolice.

Frank Domizio

Corporal Frank Domizio has been with the Philadelphia Police Department since 1997. He is currently assigned to the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensics Lab as a Forensic Examiner. Previously he was assigned to the Department's Office of Media Relations and Public Affairs where he was the Social and Digital Media Manager. Frank has spoke at several industry conferences and major universities on the topics of social media and content strategy.

Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows was a sworn police officer for 25 years with experience in front line operations, primary response, traffic, detective operations, and supervision. He has training in a broad spectrum of policing responsibilities including IMS, Emergency Management, computer assisted technology investigations, leadership, community policing, and crisis communications. Tim left policing but has remained involved through consulting with law enforcement on the advancement of communications and social media. Tim runs #CopChat on Wednesday nights at 9pm ET, to allow police and community members to connect and break down barriers. To learn more about him you can follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook or click here to contact him http://bit.ly/ContactTimBurrows

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement. These individuals are law enforcement professionals; sworn and civilian personnel from agencies of all types and sizes throughout the world. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send your request to socialmedia@theiacp.org. All bloggers must be affiliated with a law enforcement agency or educational institution. We cannot accept blog entries from vendors or others working in a for-profit capacity.

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