The Social Media Beat

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The Social Media Beat

Posts Tagged 'Emergency-Preparedness-and-Response'

Check out all of the posts tagged with 'Emergency-Preparedness-and-Response' below. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search-form at the sidebar.

IACP 2015 Chicago: Public Information Track Preview

Five years ago I was honored to be part of the first social media session at IACP in Orlando 2010. At the time social media was fairly new, especially to law enforcement. Late in 2008 we were one of the first departments to actively start using ...

Nextdoor: The Next Big Thing for LESM?

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 fa...

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

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 ...

In a Communications Crisis? Twitter is Your Number One Weapon

To use an ironic cliché, we bloggers may sound like a broken record when we constantly write about the importance of social media, but there are just so many examples of its importance that we can’t help but repeat ourselves. This past wee...

LESM at IACP 2014

It’s September at IACP Headquarters which means the weather is unpredictable, pumpkin spice lattes abound, and our staff is in conference mode. The countdown is on… just 36 days until IACP 2014 kicks off in Orlando, Florida.  The confere...

Twitter Tips for Law Enforcement Social Media

Not all digital media channels are created equal. Each platform appeals to people differently and each looks and feels different. Knowing these nuances can help reach your community in a more effective manner. Today, we’ll focus on Twitter with futu...

The Mighty QR Code

The mighty QR code? “Burrows has lost his marbles!” Well, that very well might be true but I’m serious…the mighty QR code.  Please tell me anything else in the world of marketing and information sharing that is more mysteriou...

What a Mountain Lion Can Teach Us about Social Media Crisis Communications

On a quiet Tuesday evening in the heart of Silicon Valley, a mountain lion decided to take a stroll through one of our dense residential neighborhoods.  Multiple residents called 9-1-1 to report the sightings of a large cat with a collar.  While...

Back to Boston

This week marks the 118th running of the Boston Marathon and a fine time to reflect upon the lessons learned from the Boston Police Department (BPD) during last year’s tragic bombing. The bloggers of IACP’s Center for Social Media, among other...

The Best of Police in Social Media 2013

Any blog worthy of its loyal readership needs a year end, best-of list. Lest The Social Media Beat not disappoint, here are the top law enforcement social media stories from 2013. Cheap Otter, an Internet Sensation Chief David Oliver (or “Cheap ...

IACP 2013 PIO Track Summary

Attendees of the 120th IACP convention descended on Philadelphia last month to take part in high caliber training, roundtable discussions, and incredible networking opportunities.  Set at the Philadelphia Convention Center, in the heart of downtown P...

The Boston Terrorist Attack and the Use of Social Media

Today’s post is the fourth in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Case Study – Boston: Leading Social Media in Crisis session on Monday, October 21. In light of the Boston Marathon bo...

New Twitter Alerts to Disseminate Emergency and Disaster Information

Today Twitter announced the launch of Twitter Alerts, a system for public safety, emergency management, and related agencies to send push notifications to disseminate critical information during an emergency or disaster. Law enforcement agencies have prio...

Breaking News and Tweeting

As I sit here and scramble to write another blog that’s late, I am watching the multiple televisions we have in our office.  On them is breaking news coverage of the shooting at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. When tragic events like thi...

Social Media Workshops at IACP 2013

Social media has been one of the “hot” topics within the IACP for the last few years. This has been reflected in the number of social media-related workshops at IACP’s annual conference (and the attendance at those sessions).  IACP ...

A Sheriff's Office Experience of Getting Up to Speed on the Social Media Highway

This guest blog comes from Rebecca Rosenblatt of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. Deputy Rosenblatt has been in law enforcement for the past eight years. She previously worked in patrol as a K9 handler for the Millbrae Police Department until the de...

Boston Reminds Us - The Importance of Rumor Control on Social Media

Perhaps you saw this tweet on Wednesday, April 17th:   Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack. @Boston_Police To their credit, despite trying to manage a chaotic week in their city, Boston Police we...

One in a Billion

Today's guest blog post comes from Machelle Montgomery, Social Media Liaison for the Prince William County, Virginia, Police Department. This full-time position was developed in April of this year and is a part of the Public information Office. As a prior...

IACP Conference Workshop: How Social Media is Changing Crisis Response

Active shooter. Hurricane. Bank robbery.  Those are three drastically different types of situations that law enforcement agencies deal with, but the one key thing they have in common is social media. Whether it’s citizens looking to find out...

Ustream: Bringing Video to Your Citizens

There are so many ways to communicate right now via social media that it is mind boggling. One site that has been around for a while could prove to be a useful tool for law enforcement. It’s called This is a site that allows you to b...

My 2011 IACP Conference Experience

From my viewpoint, the 2011 IACP Conference in Chicago was a success. The weather was beautiful, the educational classes were broad and extensive, and I had the opportunity to network with many chiefs across the country. I was fortunate to be a panelis...

IACP 2011 Conference Review

One of the great things about an event such as the 2011 IACP conference in Chicago is that it brings together a variety of people who have had such different experiences to share their knowledge. I feel incredibly fortunate that I could attend and learn s...

IACP 2011 PIO Track Review

This is the second year the IACP annual conference included social media in the PIO Track. Last year in Orlando the response to the couple of social media presentations was overwhelming with standing room only at a couple of classes. One would anticipate ...

Building a Base for Emergency Communication

In Chief Grogan’s blog post of Sept. 14th, “Why Should My Department use Social Media”, the Chief, as usual, makes some excellent points; social media is an opportunity to communicate directly to citizens, crime information released to t...

Tweeting During a Hurricane

Last month, my colleague Mark Economou blogged about the importance of being prepared to respond via social media during a crisis. Not only do we need to be prepared, we need to actually do it because the public expects it and they need it. The more in...

Yes, Virginia, That WAS an Earthquake

Like most people, I'd say the Richmond Police Department was more than a little surprised this week when an earthquake shook the area. Heck, I'm sure the majority of the East Coast was surprised since these events are usually a West Coast phenomenon. But,...

Are you prepared to inform via social media during a crisis…the public expects it

As law enforcement and first responders experiment in social media, the public is starting to already become accustom to the first hand information. It was seen during the devastating tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri. First responders and the ...

Social Media as a Crisis Communications Tool - Part 2

Mark Economou from Boca Raton Police Department brought this up last month, but the topic came up here recently as well. To echo Mark's message: make sure social networking is part of any emergency or crisis communications plan. Mark says, fortunately,...

Social Media as a Crisis Communications Tool

Fortunately, here in Boca Raton, we have not had the need to use social media during a crisis. That's not saying when a crisis does occur we won't use it. But, how it will be used will depend on the nature and severity of the crisis. Social media has prov...


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 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

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 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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