The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Monday, February 27, 2012

Checking In

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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A lot of attention has been given to law enforcement’s use of social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter. But there are a lot of other tools and apps out there that an agency can use to keep the community informed and safe. One of the more popular uses of social media is “checking in”. This is done through Foursquare, Facebook, and other stand alone apps. The location-based social networking allows users to register and post their location and connect with friends. When checking in, points are awarded and users earn badges the more times they check into locations. A social game of sorts. How does this play into law enforcement? A couple of ways. First, it can serve as a crime prevention tool. Foursquare allows users to add tips to locations. All a law enforcement agency has to do is create a Foursquare profile and then create a list of locations they want to target. A tip can then be added to each location. You can then encourage people to follow you on Foursquare so when they che ...

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Strategy, Timing, Focus, Flexibility, and Execution

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows is a sergeant with the Toronto Police Service.

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What makes one sports team better in the big game than their opponents? Why was the NCAA National Championship Football Game such a blow-out this year when the number one and number two teams met? Strategy, Timing, Focus, Flexibility and Execution Now that’s not to say the loser in a big game doesn’t have all those. Realistically they all do. But their opponents just do them better. They execute the game plan. They are disciplined. They don’t just look at each individual play… they look at the big picture, the end objective. The same dedication has to be in your social media game plan. If you don’t adhere to the game plan, you could find yourself spending a great deal of time creating a lot of noise, but never being truly heard. Strategy – Develop what it is that you will do with your social media presence. Which platforms you are going to use and when may change for your overall strategic goals. Make goals for long term and short term and treat each like a cam ...

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jazz up Your Twitter and YouTube Pages with Custom Backgrounds

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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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 my own. Google research on the topic yielded the following options: 1)    Pay someone to do it (not an option for me, and, I suspect, you) 2)    Use a “free” template, but live with the tacky “Made by _____.com “ logo (no, thanks) 3)    Make it yourself Naturally, I went with option three. However, I am no graphic artist, nor do I have access to high-powered graphic and photo editing software.  Nonetheless, I was able to cobble together a pair of half-decent backgrounds (see here and here) using … a free image capture download and PowerPoint.  Here are a few tips: •    A banner down the left rail of your Twitter feed should be no wider th ...

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Will You Hangout With Me?

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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Google+ may be the new kid on the social networking block, but it appears to be gaining some momentum with individuals and organizations alike. There are several different aspects of Google+ that offer different functionality. There is the ability to put people into Circles (even if they are not Google+ users), there is also a news aggregator, group chat, and group video chat. Google’s Hangout feature provides users with a platform to video chat at no cost. Using a webcam, users can see and hear each other through their computers, without ever leaving the comfort of their home or business. So how can law enforcement agencies use Hangouts? Here are a few ideas: 1.    Demonstrations. Officers can use this platform to perform demonstrations for the public. Perhaps it’s bicycle safety week. Officers can provide the community with important information and show viewers the importance of bicycle safety. Share messages about crime prevention and do more than just tell people, sho ...

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Chatting with Your Community Online

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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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 assisted numerous agencies with launching their Facebook and Twitter platforms. She can be reached at 561.742.6191 or slaters@bbfl.us. Law enforcement agencies that have been using social media for some time now may have noticed that incorporating video onto your department’s platforms often draws the most “likes” or “retweets.” That’s because online video consumption is off the charts. YouTube gets over 3 billion views every day. More than 31 million unique viewers watch videos on Facebook each month. And live online streaming video saw a 600% growth in 2010. If the purpose of law enforcement using social media is to engage the community online – to create an open line of communication, inform and educa ...

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Here's a Good Story About Relationships... Oh Yeah, and Police Work

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 found this post on the BPD Facebook page a few days ago. It's a story from one citizen that he shared on his Facebook page and re-posted on ours. It's a good story of a successful police investigation. But also and perhaps most notably, it’s an indication of how people prefer to communicate today - via social networking, and how that communication can be very positive and rewarding for all involved. I have to say, it is the very human relationships that social media builds that are what I find most valuable and rewarding for me as the administrator and main author of our department’s social networking sites. I like to think BPD is not so big or self-important that we're above building partnerships one person at a time. Here is his story: Today my son home came home at lunch and came back into my office to tell me that there was a business card stuck on the front door for a Boise Police Department Property Crimes Detective. Last November (2011), right around my birthday, someone broke i ...

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Monday, February 06, 2012

RPD Social Media Looking Forward

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 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 it’s been successful, but what can you do now to further enhance your efforts and better the communication with your great community? One idea we’re moving forward with is Foursquare. While it may seem like a nerdy, social-media-type game to some people, the app is really a great way to market an agency and yet another way to connect with your citizens. Whereas I use Foursquare in my personal life to learn about places and see where my friends are, my hope is that when people “check in” to the police department facilities, they will see important and accurate information. For example, as the “owner” of the facilities, such as the different precincts, we can post “tips” such as each precinct captain’ ...

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Friday, February 03, 2012

Managing 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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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 presented to the Florida Association of Public Information Officers (FAPIO) and State PIO Deployment Team Annual Symposium via Skype since I was unable to attend. This brings two topics to mind. The ability to use social media technology to talk about social media and the general theme of questions from agencies. Questions included the typical how many people do you need to manage your social media accounts. I’ve talked about this topic in a previous blog and the answer is not cookie cutter. It depends on a number of factors including the size of your city or town, the size of your department and what you want to accomplish using social media. Some departments use it to post incidents or in progress calls, others use it to solicit tips on crimes, and ot ...

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Social Media Education

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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I arrived at the FBI Academy for the FBI LEEDS program on Sunday, January 22, 2012. As I looked at the upcoming training scheduled for the program, I was pleasantly surprised to see Nancy Kolb with the IACP scheduled to speak about social media. Nancy spoke to our class of law enforcement executives and did an excellent job outlining the value and uses of social media in law enforcement. As Nancy spoke, I began to think about how important social media education in law enforcement is at all levels of the organization. Social Media is not a fad. Social Media is here to stay and law enforcement must learn all they can about how to use it in order to take advantage of the benefits and guard against the pitfalls. Law enforcement basic training should provide a block of social media training that educates the young officer about officer safety issues related to their personal use of social media. In addition, the training should provide new officers with a roadmap of how they can use social media in a way 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.

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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