The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Toronto Police Service's Social Media Management

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

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

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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 as a tool to broadcast information related to personal safety, crime prevention, and to promote various initiatives from traffic safety programs to community meetings and general information about the Service. The Toronto Police Service is active in multiple platforms of social media use and allows for many contributors to the communication and information stream. Command officers, corporate communications, units, and individuals all operate with prior approval for use of the tools to speak about their areas of expertise, knowledge base, and geographical areas of responsibility. Each account creator is ultimately responsible for their own monitoring and engagement. I add to the streams from a unit and corporate level, but I also monitor the activities of ...

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Importance of Directed Content for Jobseekers

By Tracy Phillips

Tracy Phillips

Tracy, an IACP Senior Project Specialist, is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of IACP's recruitment initiative, Discover Policing.

Want to hear more from Tracy Phillips? Follow her and the Discover Policing team on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Inside Discover Policing blog.

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A recent research report from the Bernard Hodes Group,* a New York-based recruitment marketing firm, offers some good insight into how jobseekers are using social media. The study was conducted during the spring and summer of 2010 and involved nearly 1,000 online users, ages 18-69. The results reveal how the online population utilizes social media for seeking career-related information. The most interesting findings showed that: - Of those visiting social sites, 72% have searched for a potential employer on those sites. - Of that 72%, only a third, or 32%, found an employer with helpful job-related content on their social media site. - 57% who experienced an employment-related discussion on the social web were motivated to consider working for an employer. This research underscores the importance of an organization's social media presence from a recruiting and branding standpoint. The fact that only a third found helpful job-related content on an employer's site is particularly telling. "Compani ...

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Boca Police Department's Social Media Management

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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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 resources to handle it. I tell all agencies, any department no matter how big or small can have employees on staff that can handle social media. Most agencies have a Web site. Most agencies have someone who writes their releases. If that's the case, then most have the ability to manage social media. Here in Boca Raton, I handle the bulk of the social media management. Throughout the day, I sign on to Facebook and check for comments or questions. For Twitter, I leave TweetDeck open on my computer and check in throughout the day. If there are new press releases or articles to put on our Web page, I take the extra five minutes to also post on Facebook and tweet it out. One of the problems for most agencies is managing the social media accounts after hours or on ...

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Social Media Engagement at the Dunwoody Police Department

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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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 one and began using Facebook and YouTube shortly thereafter. The city of Dunwoody serves a night time population of 46,000 and a day time population of over 100,000. We now have 46 sworn officers and eight civilian employees. Initially, I chose to manage our social media accounts myself. As a new department, I believe it was important that both our content and our message be consistent. An established department probably has room for some inconsistency. However, I felt our department had little room for error. In order to continue to develop our use of social media and keep our postings timely, informative, and relevant, we plan on transitioning the way content is posted. Our Community Outreach Unit, which consists of a sergeant and patrol officer, wi ...

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Social Media Management in the Richmond Police Department

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is a member of the Richmond Police Department's Public Affairs Unit in Richmond, Virginia. Follow Dionne on Twitter @RichmondPolice.

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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. Thankfully, I don’t do it alone. The duties of updating and monitoring our Facebook and Twitter pages are shared among my three talented colleagues in the Public Affairs Unit. Our unit has found the best way to handle our social media sites is that I usually take the lead because it’s one of the things I most enjoy doing. I use social media constantly in my personal life and it just made sense. However, everyone else in our unit knows how to post items online and follows the same protocol I do when posting or responding to posts. Generally, I post 90 percent of the items on our social media sites. It’s all approved by my supervisor and, when it’s something unusual or more serious, it’s approved by our chief or member of the comm ...

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Agency Management and Officer Safety

By Lynn Hightower

Lynn Hightower

Lynn is the Communications Director and Public Information Officer for the Boise, Idaho, Police Department. Follow Lynn on Twitter @BoisePD.

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A major responsibility of being a social network author on behalf of a police agency is having the ability to communicate professionally on behalf of the Chief and the entire department. As the Boise Police Department has written in our Social Networking SOPs: Those managing social media sites must have a good understanding of community norms, sensitivities, expectations and department policies regarding information release. Posting of police officer and employee information and photos must follow the same guidelines as the department’s media and public records policies, emphasizing potential officer safety issues. Officer safety is a priority. At BPD, we balance officer safety with information release using the following guidelines, specifically Notification and Approval. 1. Names and images of vice/narcotics detectives and those officers working undercover are never used for obvious safety reasons (even though these officers do incredible work!). 2. Patrol officers and detectives get a ...

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Monday, June 06, 2011

Social Media Management in Your Agency

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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The IACP Center for Social Media staff has been fortunate enough to travel all over the country to speak with law enforcement personnel about social media. Whether we are in New Jersey or Oregon or one of the many states in between, we hear different versions of the same question: “how do law enforcement agencies manage their social media presence?” This is a great question and one whose answer affects any agency that is thinking about, or is already engaged in, social media use. So, here on The Social Media Beat, we will be taking the month of June to give each of our bloggers the opportunity to speak to the subject of social media management.  This will provide valuable insight to the law enforcement community. To get us started let’s ask the main four questions: Who, What, Where, and When? Remember, while it is important for every agency to ask these questions, each agency may have a unique answer depending on what best fits their needs and resources. Who will manage your soci ...

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Friday, June 03, 2011

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

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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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 sign on with your Twitter and Facebook accounts. There are many different dashboards that integrate social media, two stand out above the rest, TweetDeck and HootSuite. Both are very similar and do basically the same thing. It's a matter of preference and style as to which one to use. Here in Boca Raton, we use TweetDeck. While using the traditional Twitter page, you only see one column of tweets at a time. With a dashboard it makes seeing what people are tweeting about easy. We can set up columns to monitor any topic we want. Currently besides the regular columns available which are everyone in our feed and direct messages, we have added other search topics including Boca Police, BocaPolice, BocaChief and some others. We have also created columns in t ...

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Value of Video

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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If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? In social media circles, video is priceless. It captures the attention of people in ways a simple photo or story can't do. Although more police departments are using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, very few are taking advantage of the power of video. When you examine the popularity of the number one video site, YouTube, you understand how important video is to the average consumer. Three billion, yes "3" billion videos are viewed each day on YouTube. There are over 100,000,000 videos a day uploaded to YouTube. Of course YouTube is not the only video site. There are many others such as Vimeo, Vevo and Hulu. The question is how can law enforcement take advantage of this phenomenon and gain value from using video? Let's assume your department has created a YouTube account. What's next? You must have good content for the site in order to attract viewers. There are two main sources for content for your department's YouTube accou ...

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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.

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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