The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Monday, August 29, 2011

Facebook Fact and Fiction

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 over 750 million followers and “like” buttons all across the Web, Facebook is permeating many people’s daily lives, and leaving them with many questions. Below are just a few things we’ve come across and would like to share. Do keep in mind that Facebook functionality changes often, so while the statements below are correct, these may change in the future. Facebook has a Dislike button. You just need to download it or accept the app. – FICTION We’ve all seen the Facebook Like button, that little disembodied blue hand giving the thumbs up. And how many times have you wished you could just dislike a piece of content, that unfortunate video or sad status update. You are not alone. But don’t be fooled, Facebook has not developed a Dislike button, no matter what the apps, e-mails, or mass posts may tell you. Online scammers are using this as a way to your information or to send a virus your way. (For more information on this check out: http://nakedsecurity.soph ...

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Why Should You Do It? Simple, Unfiltered Messages to Your Residents

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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This has been touched upon in blogs here by me and fellow bloggers, but thought a more in-depth discussion was due. Recently at one of my social media presentations to law enforcement, many in attendance were not using Facebook or Twitter to communicate. After they heard my explanation of why we use social media there was a collective: “hmmm.” Now they got it. Many times we seem to dismiss new programs or technology if it’s not endorsed for use by law enforcement. Here is the reason we use social media, plain and simple: To communicate with our residents. To pass along information to those that work, live and play in our city. It is simply another tool in our tool belt. It’s not replacing anything, but it is enhancing the way we communicate with the public. In this day and age of 24 hour news cycles, cut backs in local media, declining newspaper circulation, it is no surprise that stories get passed over. Also it’s no surprise that the small arrest we made in a recent car b ...

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yes, Virginia, That WAS an Earthquake

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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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, like most crises, police departments don't have much time to react. They just respond as they are trained to do to keep people safe. Our Public Affairs Unit was no different. After a brief conversation, during which I think I was still shaking even though the earth had stopped, we decided to tweet that if people needed police or fire response, but couldn't get through via phone, they could tweet us. Nearly all cell service was down and many landlines weren't working either. But Facebook and Twitter were. As civilian employees, we don't carry a gun or a badge, but we play an important role at the department and we use the tools available to us to represent the Department and help people. One of those most valuable tools is social media. Within seconds, ...

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Using Humor with Social Media

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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A good sense of humor is a valuable commodity in life. This is especially true of police officers. We see people at their worst, committing horrible acts of violence against their fellow man. This can be discouraging to say the least. A good sense of humor is a tool we use to deal with these difficult situations without becoming cynical. Police officers have a keen ability to see humor where others might not. William Arthur Ward said “A well developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life”. Everyone, not just police officers, needs a little humor in their lives. It is important. In the era of community policing, we have moved beyond the “just the facts” mentality. I believe our community wants more than that, and will respond accordingly. I am not suggesting that you should use humor in every post or use it indiscriminately. Instead, I am suggesting humor should be used sparingly and in appropriate situations. Using humor rev ...

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

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

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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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 think communicating with other agencies is a good thing. It’s just a matter of balancing that communication/interaction with the communication you put out for your community. You want to support your fellow agencies, both local and national, especially when it comes to encouraging the use of social media or a particular police issue. But your average citizen doesn’t really have the same interest, and if you talk too much with other agencies via your main agency social media sites, you risk alienating your base audience. So here are some examples of ways you can communicate. There are many others, but here are some. When you see another local police agency join Twitter or Facebook, post a welcoming message online. This both supports that ag ...

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cross Populating Platforms

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows is a sergeant with the Toronto Police Service.

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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 problem was. “Well, sir…you’re trying to play tennis with a squash racquet and a baseball!” I didn’t really understand the problem. I was on a court; I had a racquet and a ball. So I stated the same. Once the gentleman was finished laughing, he said, “Sure…you have a racquet, a ball, and are on a court, but you are using the wrong tools to play. Try a tennis racquet and a tennis ball for the tennis court, you’ll find it’s probably more effective.” Sure enough…he was right. That’s kind of how I feel when I see people using the court of social media to play Facebook with Twitter and vice versa. Sure, you can use them both to do what you want, but you might be using the wrong too ...

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Community Connections Via Facebook

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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I'm trying something this week and we'll see what kind of feedback we get. We've gotten word from a couple sources that at least one possible hate-bias crime occurred downtown recently and the incident was not reported. Not good. Working with the department's liaison to the Boise area GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) community, we developed a flyer explaining with a hate-bias crime is and urging citizens to report them. Officers are taking the flyer to local businesses who may be interested in posting it. We also posted a link to the flyer on our Web site www.boisepolice.org on the main page as a Community Connection item. And we posted the link on our Facebook page. Then, using Facebook as Boise Police Department (as opposed to Lynn Hightower), something we can do as page administrators and clicking on the "Use Facebook As" link below the admin icons on the right side of our page, I posted the link above on other Facebook pages including the Idaho Humanities Council, the Ada County Human R ...

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Monday, August 08, 2011

Mobile Recruitment for Police - Part 1

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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Once upon a time, recruitment in the digital age meant creating a Web page or maybe even using an electronic application. Today, it means creating a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Increasingly, it also means going mobile -- using mobile apps, mobile enabled Web sites, QR codes, and text messaging to connect with candidates. Cell phones – and smartphones in particular – are increasingly becoming the go-to device for connecting with friends, managing social networks, and searching the Web. Consider the following numbers from the Pew Internet Project. - More than 80% of Americans use cell phones. - 72% use their phones to send or receive text messages. - Around one-third (35%) of adults own smartphones. - One quarter of smartphone users say they primarily access the Internet using their phone. There are a variety of benefits to going mobile with your recruitment efforts, but foremost among them is convenience. With a smartphone, the vast resources of the Internet are right in the pa ...

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Friday, August 05, 2011

LinkedIn for Law Enforcement

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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LinkedIn is a social networking site launched in May of 2003 mainly used for professional networking. This is in stark contrast to other sites like Facebook and MySpace, which are used primarily for social purposes. LinkedIn currently has over 100 million registered users and continues to grow. On the surface, it might seem there is little to be gained by law enforcement’s use of the site. However, a closer examination reveals several important uses of LinkedIn. As a professional networking site, LinkedIn is a valuable tool for both up and coming and established law enforcement professionals. Users create a professional profile which details their work history, education, and professional associations and allows them to connect with other users with similar interests. As the user’s professional network grows, connections can be divided into various categories which give users the ability to send messages to individuals or to a group of people. This can be quite useful when seeking information a ...

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

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

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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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 state of Missouri EMA turned to social media to gather information and inform the public. Now a new poll by the National Hurricane Survival Institute confirms the public is expecting us to keep them informed through social media. The Sachs/Mason Dixon Poll found that 70% of people in a hurricane’s path will use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to get critical information or warn loved ones. Also, 72% of those polled that used social media said they would rely on it to communicate with friends and loved ones in the event of a natural disaster, another 24% said they might. That is nearly 100% of those on social media will rely on it. Those percentages are astounding given the fact that first responders and law enforcement have really only been u ...

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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 is a Sergeant with the Toronto Police - Traffic Services Unit. His primary role is the supervisor for strategic communications and media relations related to traffic issues within the geographical boundaries of Toronto. Tim was appointed to the Traffic Services Communications Office in 2008 with the mandate to raise the profile of traffic issues within the mindset of the general public. In an effort to enhance traffic safety and to control the timing and full scope of messaging, he has developed a targeted information stream using social media to expand the Toronto Police Service span of influence within the Toronto community and beyond with the goal of reducing collisions, injury, and death in Toronto. Using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Blogs, Tim has pushed information about traffic safety to the citizens of Toronto and has opened the lines of communication to allow for collaborative efforts with community groups, road users, and individuals.

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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