The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Posts Tagged 'Twitter'

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

Changing of the Social Media Guard, Sort Of

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 t...

Social Media Created Citizen Investigators

Whether your department uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or a different platform, you can take advantage of the power of social media to create citizen investigators across your community.  Unfortunately, that will never happen unless yo...

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...

Social Media at Special Events

Whether it’s a community festival, sporting event, concert, or other large event gathering, strategically communicating through your digital media channels can greatly magnify your agency’s reach to attendees and assist with getting timely inf...

Twitter Tip – Using Your Favorites Tab

How often have you been scrolling through your Twitter stream and you see a tweet that is just so awesome that you need to be able to come back to it over and over again? Or someone posts a link to some great content that you want to get into but ju...

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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...

Reaching Out To Community and Business Stakeholders

At its core, contemporary policing is about keeping our communities safe by building partnerships with the community, putting criminals behind bars, and creating an environment where all of our stakeholders feel safe to go about their daily business. &nb...

Tweeting Smart

Today’s post is courtesy of IACP’s Center for Officer Safety and Wellness. Although social media is beneficial to the law enforcement community in countless ways, its use by community members may also result in unintended, harmful consequen...

From the Streets to The Social Media Beat

It’s a huge honor to have the opportunity to blog for the IACP. This is my first official post so I wanted to start off with a short introductory piece about how I came into my current role.   I was born and raised in the city of Hampton and ...

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Five Feverish Minutes of Damage Control - Lessons Learned

I got hacked.   Here’s the scenario: This is day one for my replacement in Media Relations – I go back to patrol next week after 4 ½ years as PIO, during an era that saw the birth of social media engagement for SMPD. My succe...

Capturing a Moment: How IACP PIO Training Brought Inspiration at Just the Right Time

Boise Police Department recently had a “social media moment.” You know, one of those posts that, while perhaps not viral, shot well above the normal views, shares, etc. A couple cool things about this moment: first, it brought back some bas...

Managing Events through Social Media – A Two-Sided Example of What Works and What Doesn’t

In May every year, San Mateo hosts an event called Maker Faire that essentially doubles the population and traffic in our city over a weekend. This event for the most part operates like a well-oiled machine. An extraordinarily well-prepared and organized ...

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...

What’s in a Hashtag?

Hashtag. A word or phrase with the # sign in front of it that helps those on social media follow trending topics.  The question is, should law enforcement use hashtags?  It’s a debate I’ve heard discussed and have discussed with othe...

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Cross Populating Content

Time. It’s something that we all struggle with on a daily basis. The demands of publishing content, creating content, sharing content not to mention what our supervisors, public, and partners need done. Each of us is blessed with twenty-four hours i...

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Using Social Media to Boost Employee Morale

I think it’s safe to say we always hear when someone is unhappy, something goes wrong or someone thinks something is wrong. But it’s rare when people go out of their way to let us know when something good happens or they think an officer has d...

Is Your Social Media Engagement Too Passive?

This is a question many departments fail to ask themselves. What this question is really trying to find out is if your department is adequately engaged on social media. Does your department allow comments? Do you respond to those comments when appropri...

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Community Outreach through Social Media: An Agency-Wide Approach

Lt. Andy Johnson is a 15-year veteran of the Hanover Park, IL Police Department.  He currently serves as Commander of Investigations and oversees detectives, special operations, and crime analysis.  Andy has served in a variety of roles within t...

Sharing the Reins

If your agency has a pretty well established and active Facebook and Twitter page and you’re looking for that next step in enhancing your social media presence, let me suggest allowing some of your officers to tweet on behalf of the department. T...

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When You Least Expect It, Expect It – Organic Growth & Internal Appeal, and Seizing the Opportunity

One of my close friends within our department recently took command of a newly formed unit, a hybrid of our old narcotics/vice and gang units now focused on hot-spot policing with a fantastic mission and energy. I have been asking him to help me write up ...

Building Your Leadership Brand through Twitter

To all police chiefs and command staff members, this blog post is for you: Chances are, if you’re reading this blog your department already has an official Twitter account and is using it to interact and engage with your community.  Why, the...

Keeping it Real

I recently attended a statewide PIO conference here in the state of Florida.  It amazes me to see how things have changed in a short five years.  Just five years ago, the few of us integrating social media into law enforcement were being looked ...

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Social Media: More than Just a Tool

Does your agency deploy social media as a communication tool used by a select few or is it a philosophy that is embraced in your organization from the top down?  As a tool, there’s no question social media has become a “game changing&rdqu...

The Grammar Police

Law enforcement’s need for proper spelling and grammar is emphasized in police mandated training, the field training officer program, and through continued observation and corrective action taken by supervisors on reports.  Most departments eve...

Richmond Police’s 10,000th Tweet!

There’s a lot to be said for recognizing the milestones in your social media journey. It shows how far you’ve come, what you’ve accomplished, and inspires you for the future. Most of the time, agencies do this by keeping track of the ...

Multiple “Tweeters” vs. Single Agency Source – An Alternate Plan to Accommodate Varied Content

I had originally intended to describe the following plan as part of my goals for 2014, following the current Social Media Beat trend of New Year’s posts. I was then inspired by Dionne Waugh’s blog post about multiple agency “tweeters&rdq...

The Numbers Trap

When it comes to growing social media channels, it’s easy to get drawn in and focus on Twitter “follower” or Facebook “like” numbers.  If your followers increase, it must mean people like you. If they decrease or remain ...

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Reflecting on the past year of law enforcement and social media use to me shows a tremendous amount of growth, creativity, and partnerships, not just for Richmond Police, but also for agencies across the country and the world. More agencies are inspire...

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 ...

Flexible-Platform Media Messaging – If “Everything IS a Press Release,” Consider Using “Everything AS a Press Release”

Last week our IACP PIO Working Group received a request for assistance from a large agency in the southeast United States. This agency uses a standard process for releasing formalized “Press Releases” and posts them on a “News Room&rdquo...

The Best Social Media Police Account

Look at Twitter or Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram long enough and it will become quite clear that there is a major difference between the best police/law enforcement social media players and the rest. Listen to the circles enough and very quickly you...

Improving Your Agency’s Brand, Online Persona, and Engagement with Your Community

Today’s post is the ninth in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Social Media 2.0: Improving Your Agency’s Brand, Online Persona, and Engagement with Your Community session on Sunday, Oc...

The 411 on Social Media: Tools and Tactics for Successful Conversations

Today’s post is the sixth in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the 411 on Social Media: Tools and Tactics for Successful Conversations session on Saturday, October 19. This session was led by...

Advice from Chiefs Who Use Social Media

Today’s post is the fifth in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Chiefs Who Tweet (or Pin, or Post) workshop on Tuesday, October 22. For Kansas City, Missouri, Police Chief Darryl Forte and...

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...

Taking Your Message to the Next Level

Today’s post is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Taking Your Message to the Next Level: Advanced Social Media session on Sunday, October 20. Boise, Idaho; Boca Raton, Flori...

Social Media is Going to the Dogs

There are a lot of different ways to be successful on social media. One of the few universal rules of social media is that people love, love, love pictures of animals. Ask most agencies about their most popular social media posts and they usually involve ...

IACP 2013 Social Media Survey Results

This fall, the IACP conducted its fourth annual social media survey. This year’s survey included 500 agencies representing 48 states. The survey helps to identify trends, challenges, and emerging issues faced by state, tribal, campus, and local law ...

Managing the Message That Delivers Your Message

Let's discuss: I write this realizing that every agency has their own style and identity – This article is about how we do it @SanMateoPD - please feel free to comment and talk about your agency’s philosophy! Some time ago, I set up my Chie...

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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...

Spotlighting Our Police Volunteers

When most police departments think about social media, they focus, obviously, on their sworn officers and then their civilian employees. But what about the volunteers? These are the people who are actively supporting the department by taking time ou...

Embedding: A Tutorial

I have said it before and I will say it again, having visual media in your blog posts exponentially increases the amount of people it engages.  That does not just mean images.  You can embed tweets or YouTube videos or pretty much anything else ...

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Stoking the Competitive Spirit

Earlier this week, we posted updated lists of agencies with the most Facebook likes and Twitter followers. This particular Center for Social Media feature is growing in popularity and we thought it was worth examining it more deeply in a blog post.  ...

Tweeting the Big Event: Keep a Presence During Big Event So When It Hits the Fan…

It’s summer, the weather is warming and it’s the season when parks and venues become crowded with large public events. In his June 6 blog post, Sgt. Dave Norris from San Mateo had great advice and ideas from a recent large event in his comm...

In Case You Missed It…

One of the challenges of working in the social media realm is that it is constantly evolving – new platforms become popular, new functions are added, and new terms are coined. In the last few weeks, there have been several big changes to the most po...

Boston Police Schooled Us All on How to Use Social Media

I know Tracy Phillips touched upon this in her last blog but I’d like to dig deeper into how the Boston Police Department was successful using social media during one of the biggest terrorist events in this country since 9/11.  Think about it, ...

Figuring Out Mobile Video

If you thought the limit of 140 characters was tough, how about 6 seconds? If you’re thinking what in the world can you do in 6 seconds, you’re not alone. Six seconds is the length of the new Twitter video app called Vine. And to make thing...

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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...

Desk-Ditching: A Police Chief Hits the Beat to Lead Twitter Virtual Ride-Along

Lieutenant Zach Perron is the lead Public Information Officer for the Palo Alto (CA) Police Department, an agency of 85 sworn officers serving a community of about 65,000 residents.  The computer was invented in a garage three blocks from his office ...

Riding Along Via Twitter

Richmond Police recently did its first virtual ride along, also known as a TweetAlong to give the community an idea of what its officers deal with during an average shift. To some it may seem a little passé since many police agencies have done v...

Twitter and Foursquare: A View from the Street Part II

Richmond Police Sector Lt. David Naoroz has been using social media in his personal life for a while now so it was only a matter of time before he began using professionally. Richmond Police PIO and fellow social media nerd Dionne Waugh quizzed hi...

Twitter and Foursquare: A View from the Street Part I

Richmond Police Sector Lt. David Naoroz has been using social media in his personal life for a while now so it was only a matter of time before he began using professionally. Richmond Police PIO and fellow social media nerd Dionne Waugh quizzed h...

Incident Updates via Social Media: Asset or Liability

As law enforcements use of social media grows, the public’s thirst for more information continues to rise exponentially. Not only does the public want more information, they also want it right now. When should police departments provide information ...

Creating Your Social Media Presence from Scratch - Part 2

Today’s guest post comes from Sergeant Dave Norris who has been with the San Mateo, California, Police Department since 1993. After serving in a variety of positions including Field Training Officer, Narcotics and Vice, and Investigations, he is cur...

Creating Your Social Media Presence from Scratch - Part 1

Today’s guest post comes from Sergeant Dave Norris who has been with the San Mateo, California, Police Department since 1993. After serving in a variety of positions including Field Training Officer, Narcotics and Vice, and Investigations, he is cur...

Broaden Your Content - Broaden Your Audience

Know anyone who always seems to talk about the same ‘ole thing? And have you ever avoided that person because that’s not what you felt like discussing? How about a politician who only promotes one issue, so when other issues are discussed, tha...

Looking Back/Looking Forward

A lot has happened this past year when it comes to law enforcement and social media, and the experience for Richmond Police has been no different. We’ve used various social networking platforms to solve crimes; communicate better with our communi...

In Case You Missed It: Changes to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

As 2012 comes to a close, a few popular social media sites have rolled out some major changes. So, in case you missed it… Instagram updated its terms of service. Twice, actually. Instagram updated their terms of service early last week and immed...

PGPD Now Tweeting the Beat

Today’s guest post comes from Julie Parker, Director of the Media Relations Division for the Prince George's County, Maryland, Police Department. Responsible for media and public relations in a dynamic environment, Julie has incorporated the modern ...

Black Friday Tweetathon

Black Friday in most communities is a pretty busy day for police agencies. It is especially busy if the community has a lot of retail establishments or a mall. Dunwoody has both. To chronicle this typically busy day, the Dunwoody Police Department decided...

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Buckling Up Could Save Your Giblets! (Stolen from the best!)

Okay, not really stolen, but borrowed with the best of intentions. If you’re not using TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov, you’re missing out on a fantastic resource for free, relevant, timely social media content. Most importantly, the site gives us ...

How to Spot a Troll

Today's guest blog post comes from Corporal Frank Domizio. He has been with the Philadelphia Police Department for 16 years and is currently assigned to the Department's Office of Media Relations and Public Affairs where he is the Social Media C...

IACP Conference Workshop: Meet the Bloggers

For the second year in a row, the IACP Conference has featured a "Meet the Bloggers" workshop. It was impressive to see such a well-attended, early morning (and post Host Chief's Night) session!  This session provided an opportunity for audience memb...

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Re-Cap #IACP2012 – Social Media: Challenges and Opportunities

Have you ever been to a conference and left disappointed because you just didn’t find the information you were hoping for? Have you ever felt empty because you took time to attend a session based on the description of it and it just didn’t del...

IACP Conference Workshop: If You Are Going to Use Social Media, Make it Worth Your Time

This session at the IACP Conference was one that I was really looking forward to. As a chief, I am all about engaging in activity that adds value to the organization. rather than wasting the time of my staff. A large audience was in attendance. Lynn Hight...

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...

Tampa Police Department and the RNC – How Planning, Consistency, and “Owning Social Media” Paid Off in Much More than Good PR

You’ve heard the saying, “You create your own luck.” Tampa Police Department (TPD) spent months training and planning, on paper and in the field, for an event held once every four years and historically marked by conflict – a natio...

Twitter Rumors: Notifications Help Control

It’s been said, “News breaks on Twitter." But what if the ‘news’ is wrong? It was last Saturday morning. The first Saturday in several weeks I wasn’t out of town or at a family function. Because I was playing with sprinkle...

Is an App Right for Your Department?

By some estimates, 49.7% of people in the United States have a smartphone and by 2014, that number could rise to over 70%. As a result of the proliferation of smartphones, the app market has exploded. Consumers would rather click on an app on their phone ...

Social Media Chess

Admittedly, I am not a very good chess player in the conventional definition of the game. I know what the pieces can do. I know that you have to play several moves ahead in your mind and consider what the ramifications of your moves will be on your oppone...

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Using Social Media to Engage Officers' Families and Fellow Officers

One of the neatest – and most surprising – things to come from the Richmond Police Department's use social media is the boost in employee morale and camaraderie as well as the increased engagement with officers' families. To explain, I thin...

Building Your Audience

Have you ever been stuck for a topic to write about? Last week I was trying to come up with a blog post for you and I couldn't decide on the topic. There were several I was considering and every time I got started there was an interruption. First, a tw...

Dashboard Management

Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Pinterest. How do you manage it all? Amazingly, there are several applications, both mobile and desktop, that actually make it quite easy to manage your social media accounts. Two of the most popular are Hootsuite and Twe...

What's Next with Social Media in Law Enforcement

It is very easy to become complacent with social media. Just like a new car or new electronic device, you want to try it out when you first get it but after a while it becomes routine. Social media is getting to that point for many... routine. It's now se...

Verified Twitter Accounts for Law Enforcement

Have you ever wondered about the blue check box badge that appears next to some Twitter accounts? If you're not familiar with it, check out @BocaPolice. This badge indicates that Twitter has verified the account, demonstrating that Twitter personnel have ...

The Timing of Posting

Ever wonder what's the best time to post certain items to your Facebook or Twitter pages so that the most people see them? A recent study has come up with some suggestions based on the metrics of several social networking sites. Though I think the real...

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Comment Policies

How many agencies have started to look at social media use for their organization and have been stumped by one simple challenge - comments from the public? There have been many cases of agencies starting social media accounts that reversed their entry and...

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It's the Little Things - Part 2, Twitter

Earlier this month we talked about the little things you can do on Facebook when it comes to interacting through social media with your community. Now let’s look at Twitter. Twitter has some restrictions when it comes to communication, but that j...

The Twitter Bird Has Officially Arrived

T is for Twitter. We could all recognize it. That little blue “t” icon that could be found across the Web, always promising to lead us to the wonderful world of 140 characters. But, as with all things social media, things change. Twitter ha...

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Measuring Police Performance... Socially

Crime rates and enforcement actions alone have never been the best evidence of a successful police department, but they always seem to be our go-to barometer. Annual reports are laden with pie graphs and bar charts comparing this year’s stats with y...

Suicide: Responding to Threats Posted on Social Media

I just returned home from doing an interview about a very touchy subject. This is something that anyone who has been using social media for any length of time has probably encountered and if you haven't, you will. "I'm going to kill myself." The ind...

Jazz up Your Twitter and YouTube Pages with Custom Backgrounds

Tired of your Twitter and YouTube backgrounds with their stock designs or crazy tiled images? Envious of those with really awesome backgrounds - say, Alaska State Troopers or the Justice Department for example? I was, so some time ago, I set out to make m...

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Chatting with Your Community Online

Today's guest blogger post comes from Stephanie Slater, Public Information Officer for the Boynton Beach, Florida, Police Department and the City of Boynton Beach. Stephanie is a frequent speaker about law enforcement's use of social media, and has assist...

RPD Social Media Looking Forward

Like my colleague Mark Economou with Boca Raton Police wrote on here recently, while it’s great to reflect on what you’ve done in the past, you can’t stop looking to the future. Yes, your department has started using social media and ...

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Managing Social Media

Last month I was privileged to take part in the IACP Center for Social Media Winter Webinar Series. Fellow blogger Dionne Waugh from the Richmond Police Department and I gave presentations to agencies around the country via the Web. Also last month, I pre...

If you're hiring, get social. The IACP can help.

Some agencies are hiring continuously. Others hire on an as need basis. Regardless of which group your department falls into, when you’re ready to advertise, it makes sense to push those hiring notices out through your department’s social medi...

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I've Been Outed

Can you imagine the feeling I had when I opened up my computer while I was on vacation to find out that my secret was now all over my Twitter stream? Oh the horror of it all. I had gone to great lengths to distance myself from who I really was on lin...

Understanding Hashtags and Social Media: A Lesson in What Not to Do

Today's guest blogger post comes from Constable Anne Longley, Social Media Officer for the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Police Department. One morning, when I opened up the @VancouverPD Twitter account, there were a few mentions of people askin...

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The Year That Has Been and a Look Ahead

Tracy Phillips posed the question here a couple of weeks ago, “Would I be exaggerating if I called 2011 the year for social media in law enforcement?” I answer to you Tracy, No. It’s not an exaggeration. I think back to late 2008 when...

The Year in Review

The Richmond Police Department will celebrate three years of social media use as of this month so it’s quite an appropriate time to reflect on the year’s social media efforts, what we’ve learned, and some highlights. We’ve defin...

The Effective Use of Hashtags

Think of hashtags as like the “Google” of Twitter. They’re just a new name for the same meaning of “keyword.” Where Google is the way we search the Internet, hashtags are the way of searching the Twitterverse, or Twitter Univ...

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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...

Why Would I Want to Like You or Be Your Friend?

This week I had to go to one of the big box building stores. As I was paying for my purchase the cashier smiled and said, “Make sure you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.” I said the first thing that came to my mind, “Why?...

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,...

Interacting with Other Agencies, Both Police and Non, On Social Media

You probably go into using social media to connect or communicate with your community and maybe the media, right? One of the last things you’re probably thinking about is interacting with other agencies, police or otherwise, on social media. I th...

Cross Populating Platforms

I was a little surprised the other day when I went to our neighborhood tennis courts and I got a bunch of strange looks from people. I could tell they were whispering about me and in some cases even laughing at me!! I finally asked someone what the pro...

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Make sure your local media follow your social network sites!

Like most police agencies using social networking, we at Boise PD use Twitter, and sometimes our Facebook page to communicate breaking news. And since BPD has been using these sites, we’ve urged local media to follow our sites for public safety and ...

Be Careful What You Tweet... Or Who You Tweet As!

So you are the social media person for your agency. During the day you monitor tweets and Facebook postings. With dashboards like TweetDeck and HootSuite it’s easy to also add multiple accounts. So it comes as no surprise that over the last few mont...

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Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Or Just Click the Button.

Yesterday, Chief Grogan talked about publicizing your agency’s social media efforts. One of the major ways to do this, is to place a social media button on your agency’s main Web page. Recently, Twitter released the Follow button, which lo...

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Reputation Management... Do You Hear What I Hear?

In the last blog post about reputation management, we talked about you putting your best foot forward by ensuring that you were properly contributing within your social media presence. Managing your words and actions in a manner that let people know where...

Tweets and Updates During a Standoff - A Whole New Consideration

Recently, Boise PD officers responded to two suicidal subject calls in one weekend. That's not unusual. What's unique is both played out very publicly in or near major intersections. And since one occurred Friday night and the other on Sunday, even though...

Social Media Dashboards: What They Are and How To Use Them

Every day, you probably hear about different terms related to social media. Thankfully, you have the IACP Center for Social Media to help you define what most of these terms are. However, what about the technologies you can use to manage your social me...

Toronto Police Service's Social Media Management

The Toronto Police Service has not been shy about its use of social media or its acceptance as a valid tool for communications, community involvement, and as a portal for the public to reach out and interact with its police service. We have also used it a...

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Boca Police Department's Social Media Management

One of the top questions I get from agencies around the country exploring the possibility of using social media is how much time does it take? That question usually leads to another, like how many people manage it? Others don't think they have the resourc...

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Social Media Engagement at the Dunwoody Police Department

The Dunwoody Police Department began operations on April 1, 2009. Since that first day, the department has been using social media tools to market our agency, engage our community, and connect more effectively. The department started using Twitter on day ...

Social Media Management in the Richmond Police Department

I would call it a labor of love when it comes to Richmond Police’s social media sites. Why? Because it’s a personal interest of mine that I love being able to use to the department’s advantage and to better inform our community. Thank...

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Do You Need to Use A "Dashboard" If You Use Social Media?

Past blogs by me and my blogging colleagues have touched upon using "dashboards" if you use social media. So what are these "dashboards" and how and why should you use them? Simply, they are software programs that you download onto your computer and s...

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Hosting a Live Chat

If you're interested in trying something new to improve your communication and reputation with your community, consider trying a "live chat." Though the mere thought of it - someone asking any question they want of your command staff officer for all to se...

Using Twitter to Listen and Learn

Of all the social media platforms out there, Twitter can be one of the most confounding, particularly to the uninitiated. 140 character messages? Who cares, right? Well, part of the appeal of Twitter is that it fits nicely with our mobile, on-the-go life...

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,...

To Follow or Not to Follow...

One of the force multipliers in social media is the "follow" or "like" feature of Facebook and Twitter. The more folks you follow the more that will follow you back. But is this necessary in law enforcement? It's a question that is worth the conversation,...

Tweeting All Calls: One Department's Experiment

On April 8, 2011 starting at 6 a.m. and continuing for 24 straight hours, the Dunwoody Police Department tweeted every single call. This arduous task fell to the day shift Sergeant, Jason Dove and the night shift Sergeant, Jason Witcher. We wanted to ...

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A New Voice on The Social Media Beat

In 2008 I accepted the position of Communications and Media Relations Officer for the Traffic Services Unit of the Toronto Police Service. In a meeting with the Unit Commander of Traffic and the Staff Superintendent in charge of Operational Services, whic...

Use Social Media to Add the Visibility to Your High Visibility Enforcement

At Boise PD, we just completed an aggressive driving mobilization. Perhaps your agency did too. NHTSA calls these campaigns "high visibility enforcement," and at BPD, we took full advantage of our social network presence to put more "visibility" into our ...

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Creating a Social Media Schedule

How much more work is this going to be? That's probably what most people think when they're tasked with creating or running their agency's social media platforms. The answer is really up to you. The more effort you put into your social media sites the ...

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How to Increase Your Twitter Followers: A Simple Plan

You have taken the plunge. You or your department has begun using Twitter. Now what? Of course you can tweet messages all day long but if no one is following you, what benefit is there for you or your community? Here are a few simple ideas to help you gro...

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Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is power. For the police agency AND the citizen. It's all about what you know, when you know it, and who it's from. At least that's the way it is when it comes to law enforcement using social media. First, you're empowering your community, f...

Retweeting: A Force Multiplier

Over the last two years, the use of Twitter has grown exponentially among law enforcement agencies. In most cases, agencies are using Twitter to report on arrests, advertise new programs, and issue community alerts. However, if your agency is not retweeti...

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The Federal Version of Social Media

Here at the IACP Center for Social Media, we believe all agencies are created equal and we can learn something from all different organizations no matter the size or where they are from. Today, we are going to take a look at what agencies and personnel on...

Creating Content Solely for Social Media

In the beginning, there were press releases. Then there was posting your press releases online, and now you're posting them on your social media sites. But at some point you need to start creating content specifically for your social media sites. Sure ...

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Content Idea - Community Connections

Ideally, content on your agency's social network sites comes from something ongoing and timely within your department. But it's not uncommon in agencies large or small, to have a "slow news day". So how do you keep posts on your sites updated and engaging...

Social Recruiting in the Land Down Under

This week we'll take a virtual trip to the land down under - to Victoria, Australia - to have a look at some unique uses of social media for recruitment. (To refresh your Aussie geography, the state of Victoria is in the southeast corner of Australia and ...

140 Characters... What Do You Say?

I have written for most of my professional career. I even minored in broadcast script writing in college. Every day, for 15 years, I had to take some facts and turn them into a 90 second story for the news that evening. I once told students that broadcast...

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Engage - Someone just might say, "Thank You"

A couple things happened this week on the Boise PD social network sites that started the new year off right. The first shows the value of interacting with citizens via social networking; the second illustrates how that interaction can lead to something we...

How Do I Use These Platforms?

Once it is determined an agency is ready to jump into social media, or the dark side as many refer to it, you need to figure what you want your agency to get out of it. There are many facets of social media like blogging, video sharing, forums, and more. ...

Consistency of Messaging - Having a Single Social Media Voice

Should different precincts or specialty units within the same agency have separate Facebook pages??? Here in Boise, we don't have the separate precincts, but we do have specialized units like crime prevention, school resource officers, traffic, etc. So...

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Creating Your Twitter Bio

If nothing else, Twitter has taught us the lessons of brevity and clarity, with their 140 character restriction on all our outgoing tweets. For your Twitter bio you are given the added bonus of 20 extra characters, leaving you with 160 characters to tell ...

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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 social media guru for the Richmond Police Department. As a member of the Department's Public Affairs Unit since September 2008, she created and developed the agency's successful use of social media and continues to try and find new ways to improve the way Richmond Police communicate online. She has spoken about law enforcement and social media at more than a dozen conferences across the country in addition to the past four IACP annual conferences. Waugh is a former newspaper reporter who wrote about crime, police, and the court system for six 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 @RichmondPolice.

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.

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.

Ben Gorban

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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