The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Recap with a Look to 2012

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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In the spirit of the season, from our home to yours, we bring you the IACP Center for Social Media holiday update. 2011 was a big year at the Center for Social Media. The Web site took off with many new publications and resources including the Chiefs’ Column. Our directory doubled in size and we added several new platform and technology overviews. Staff has also extended their outreach, providing training and technical assistance to more agencies than ever before. We hosted a spring webinar series and are now more than half way through our winter webinar series (you can sign up for the final installment here).   Through these social media efforts we have met some amazing professionals and created wonderful partnerships. We have added new bloggers to The Social Media Beat and are soon to be incorporating a guest blogger feature. We are excited for what 2012 is sure to offer. Our schedule is already taking us to some great places including several state associations (to request training or ...

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Year That Has Been and a Look Ahead

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

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

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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 I ran my first Twitter Search for the word police. 15 results, 12 actual police agencies, no individuals and of those 12 agencies… NO interaction with the public. Tweets that added no foreseeable values were being sent and no RT’s, @replies, or @mentions. Facebook? Even less police were there… at least less agencies and individuals identifying themselves as police. You could find lots of people you suspected were police by their listed occupation, “Human Garbage Collector” or their latest status update, “Just found a dismembered body in an abandoned building. Reminds me, need to pick up pasta and sauce for dinner tonight.” Or their page likes, friends, and so on. There were only a few places to go that someone v ...

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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Year in Review

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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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 definitely learned how to better handle inappropriate and negative comments we receive through our social media sites. Without going into specifics since some events are still ongoing, we’ve really had to be on the ball when it comes to receiving a flood of comments bordering on being inappropriate. Do we like all the opinions or comments people post on our Facebook wall? Of course not. Do we delete them all? Of course not! Though our social media policy guides us, it’s a balancing act between what comments violate our policy and what comments aren’t all positive. We’ve tried to be even more responsive to our inquiries on social media. On Twitter, for example, we try to respond to tweets if we can with answers, information, and retweets, ...

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Friday, December 16, 2011

2011: The Year for Social Media in Law Enforcement

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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Would I be exaggerating to call 2011 year of social media for law enforcement? Er, maybe but I don’t think so. Would I be overstating to say we’ve seen an “explosion” in law enforcement’s use of social media over the course of the year? Not really. In fact, handy sites such as this blog and the corresponding Center for Social Media, have contributed to the proliferation by helping departments navigate the waters of Facebook, Twitter, and the like more ably. In terms of recruitment…while the economy certainly has had an impact on hiring, the effects are localized. Many agencies are actively hiring. A query on the IACP’s career center, Discover Policing, will result in hundreds of results. Accordingly, we’ve seen robust use of social media by law enforcement as a means of sourcing candidates. So much so that as we close 2011, I believe we may be on the backside of the curve. I have no scientific basis for this claim, but I hypothesize that law enforcement& ...

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Monday, December 12, 2011

IACP in Chicago - The Value of Networking

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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Live streaming news conferences, tweet-alongs, blogging, tweeting during hostage negotiations and active shooter situations, calm yet strong messaging during crisis, making our agencies agency “one-stop-shops” for media with video and sound in news releases, and effecting outreach through improved “in-reach” in our departments. To review the PIO section workshops during the IACP Conference in Chicago, how much time do you have? Please look at Tim Burrows recent blog on a Chicago Wrap Up. I echo all Tim’s comments, from thanking the tremendous speakers, to all those who attended the sessions, asked questions, and elaborated on ideas. After being a full-time police PIO for eight years, I still have a dozen pages of detailed notes with lots of asterisks creating a new ‘To Do’ list. The ideas and inspiration for improving, not only BPD’s social networking, but also our daily public information outreach and media relations make this year’s IACP confere ...

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Friday, December 09, 2011

Policing Your Police on 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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Most of my blogs are about why we in law enforcement should use social media. But what I usually don’t touch upon is when those in law enforcement use their personal pages and say the wrong things. I’m writing about it today because I’ve seen a lot of articles as of late referencing officers saying dumb and crazy things on their private social media pages. Just some examples… * Here in Florida the South Florida Times just ran an article about an officer in South Florida that tweeted with adult film stars and made derogatory remarks about his supervisors on his personal Twitter account. He tweeted while on duty in violation of the department’s social media policies. He has become the first employee of that department to be investigated for his social media activities. * In Law Enforcement Today there was just an article about an officer in a department in Virginia who shot an unarmed civilian who did not obey his commands. In the media coverage following the incident, re ...

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

My Department Has a Traditional Web Site: Why Use 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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Most law enforcement agencies have a Web site. In fact, many have robust Web sites that are informative, educational, and contain a lot of good information of interest to their communities. If you are one of the people who think simply having a departmental Web site is good enough, please read on. Your departmental Web site is extremely important. It is the location you store all of your static content as well as update when you have new information to post. The content must stay fresh and updated for the site to be effective. Your departmental Web site can and should be reflective of what is happening at your department. In general though, it can sometimes be a challenge to get community members to visit the departmental Web site. You can advertise your Web site but unless someone has a specific reason to visit it, they seldom do. This is where social media comes in. When your department uses social media, it gains access to groups of people who may not otherwise have had an interest in the department. ...

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Friday, December 02, 2011

IACP Chicago Wrap Up

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

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

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Well it has been a few weeks since Chicago. I’ve had some time to reflect on my experience there, albeit a short time there, and also to watch what has happened since then. Being part of the PIO track offered me the opportunity to meet some of the people I look to for tips on how to use new media to do their jobs more effectively. The innovators, the calculated risk takers, and the mavericks who have grabbed hold of the use of social media and learned how to effectively integrate it with traditional lines of communication and outreach. Meeting those people in real life added a depth to the relationship, which had been established through online interaction, e-mails and the odd phone call. Others I was able to reconnect with from previous meetings. Sitting down and talking with them, listening to their stories, challenges, and accomplishments was great. I value the relationships, which have been created in a cyber setting, but nothing replaces face-to-face interaction. I’ve thought back t ...

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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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