The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Monday, June 29, 2015

Officer Safety When the Public Uses Social Media in a Crisis

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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Right at this moment while you are reading this post, a police department somewhere across the country is dealing with a crisis.  These crises vary in length, public awareness, outcome and many other factors.  You may never hear about some and others may be on the news for days, weeks or even months.  They involve murder, rape, assault, kidnapping, barricaded suspects, manhunts and many other crimes and tragedies.  Although they can be very dissimilar, they do have one factor in common.  The public taking photos and videos of the incidents and posting the information to their social media channels can put officers at risk. In 2014, agencies in the Seattle, Washington area asked citizens to Tweet Smart and used the hashtag #TweetSmart.  They asked their community to not post information, photos or video on social media showing the movement, location or tactics being used by police officers during police incidents where the information could possibly put officers at risk.  Th ...

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Think You're Facebook Responsive? Think Again

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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Facebook is always updating its platform with new formats and tweaks, but a recent update a few of us noticed this week was a responsiveness measurement icon. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on the best ways of using Facebook, they come out with a new one to challenge you! And I would definitely call this one a challenge—but a fun one—for law enforcement agencies. So, are you Facebook responsive? You make think you respond to comments, questions and private messages fairly well, but unless you’re responding to 90 percent of your private messages AND with a median response time of five minutes, Facebook doesn’t think so. Their new “Very Responsive to Messages” icon, which you can see in green under the profile picture on the Palo Alto Police Department page, requires your page to have done both of those two things over the past seven days for your page to receive it. I first noticed the update when I saw two new analytics boxes on the bottom right side of o ...

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Monday, June 15, 2015

#CopsLoveLemonadeStands

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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With kids out of school for the summer, temperatures rising, and lemonade stands popping up on sidewalks across America, my department recently began a new social media initiative called #CopsLoveLemonadeStands, and we are encouraging any interested police agency to join in! As we saw with the incredible international success of the recent IACP hashtag campaign #WhyIWearTheBadge for National Police Week, a remarkable number of people want to see positive stories about police officers on social media. The #CopsLoveLemonadeStands initiative dovetails with this, and falls nicely into place and in-line with the social media recommendations of President Obama's Task Force on 21st-Century Policing. The idea was the brainchild of two members of our patrol division, Sergeant Ben Becchetti and Officer Dave Pecoraro. They wanted me to put out a social media post asking the community to tell us when their children were going to have lemonade stands, so that a patrol team could stop by for some positive community inter ...

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

#WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesdays, Keeping the Campaign Going Strong

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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Agencies all over the world are taking to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and even Periscope to share their #WhyIWearTheBadge stories and to connect with the communities they serve. The #WhyIWearTheBadge campaign was designed to highlight the diversity and commitment of those in the law enforcement profession. Social Media Beat blogger, Tim Burrows, discussed the importance of the campaign and noted that it was important not only for law enforcement, but for the communities they serve as well. To keep this campaign going, the IACP has started a blog series titled #WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesdays. The series kicked off with a post from Woodway, Texas, Police Sergeant Khalil Abdallah El-Halabi who shared his journey from a war-torn country to living the American dream and serving his community. Jefferson County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Deputy and School Resource Officer Dee Patterson also wrote a post where she admits that sometimes the job is difficult, but that caring for the students, parents, teacher ...

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

PROBLEM SOLVING IN #LESM – FINE-TUNING YOUR GAME PLAN

By Dave Norris

Dave Norris

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

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Cops are natural problem solvers. Flexibility and versatility are a big part of what we do every day, pushing the black & white through our neighborhoods, doing the big things that provide safety and preserve quality of life, and the little things that mean so much and keep our community close. These same functions are performed daily by your social media team (or person), as you push out critical crime and safety alerts, and generate less urgent content that highlights the humanity of your agency and brings you closer to the community you serve. In either case problems arise that require critical thought and decisive action. Sometimes these are quick flashes, and sometimes we need to drill deep into problems to seek sustainable solutions. On the community and media relations side of the business, there are a number of questions that we should be seeking to answer: What is our outline process for quick address of breaking safety issues, and do we have templates in place so that ...

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Why I Wear the Badge - #WhyIWeartheBadge

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows is a recently retired sergeant with 25 years of law enforcement experience.

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Why I Wear The Badge In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week May 15th falls in as Police Week. 20 years later, the Memorial Service in Washington D.C. began.  The memorial provides a place for the families, co-workers and grateful citizens to gather and pay tribute to those that paid the ultimate sacrifice for their communities. Police Week is celebrated in many different ways by both law enforcement agencies and their communities. Those communities are no longer just bound by geographical points on a map or neighborhoods. Virtual communities also celebrate in the online world and Police Week celebrations can happen there just as easily. Showcasing your agency, it’s members and the great work that is done is easy and gives more people greater access to your people and your commitment through pictures, videos, words and gestures. This year the IACP is spearheading an initiative that will bring out ...

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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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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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