The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's the Little Things - Part 2, Twitter

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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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 just means you have to get creative. Twitter’s biggest restriction is space. Where you have lots of room to like, share and tag on Facebook, you only have 140 characters on Twitter. That can make it difficult to do some of the below suggestions, but that doesn’t make it impossible. So here are a few little things you can do on Twitter to interact with your community: * Retweet all the tweets from people who thank you or compliment you for something. This is a quick way you can acknowledge you’ve seen their tweet, thank them for it AND share it with your followers, thus sharing a positive comment about your agency with an even larger audience. You should also thank people when they mention you for ‘Follow Friday.’ Follow ...

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Social Media: The Great Equalizer

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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How many of you have ever had a negative story about your department or the way your officers handled an incident spin out of control in the media? It stinks. Traditionally, it is difficult to “set the record straight” without opening yourself and your department up to further criticism. How many of your departments have made a good arrest or had something positive happen in the community, yet you couldn’t get the local media to publish the story? I am sure most of you can recall these issues happening in your community. With the advancing use of social media by law enforcement agencies, police departments can bypass the media and go straight to the people to inform, explain, and clarify. Social media is the great equalizer. Social media can give police departments the tools they need to get their message out, to clarify the facts, and to promote the good work that their department and staff is doing in the community. Traditional media outlets are not our enemies as some in law enforcemen ...

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Friday, April 20, 2012

The Twitter Bird Has Officially Arrived

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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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 has decided to trade the “t” icon for the Twitter bird. So, if you are using the old icon on your Web site or blog, head on over to https://twitter.com/about/resources/logos and make the change to the new icon.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Measuring Police Performance... Socially

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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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 years past. Crime is, after all, the business of law enforcement. It’s what we care about, and it’s what our customers care about. Or is it?   What crime stats don’t say is what (generally) is at the heart of citizen satisfaction with police, and that is community safety, quality of life, and police responsiveness. Crime stats also don’t say what is (generally) important to police – citizen trust, engagement, and safety. Look at your mission statement. It surely goes beyond “crime” and “enforcement,” perhaps focusing on community safety, quality of life, and departmental integrity. But how to gauge those lofty ideals? A complete discussion of what police should measure and how is beyond the sc ...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Social Media Education

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

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

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One of the most important things we do in life is learn. We learn from our mistakes, we learn from the experience of those around us, we learn from experts. We have an incredible capacity for learning and many reasons for doing so. I have never met a successful person who has accomplished anything without learning and I have never talked to an expert on any subject who thinks that they’ve learned all there is in any given course of study or expertise. Learning is still being done on subjects that have been solidified in our existence for centuries. In policing we continually learn about human behaviour, officer safety, and crime prevention. So you can understand that if we are still learning about things that should be second nature to us, it stands to reason we must educate ourselves about social media and how to best utilize the power that it holds. I have been teaching social media use for nearly three years in both formal and informal environments and I know that I haven’t even come c ...

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Interest in Pinterest

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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So yet again another social media-type Web site is gaining in popularity. Pinterest. This site has skyrocketed with users in the past couple of months. So much so that those that want to create an account have to submit their request via e-mail and wait a couple of days for an acceptance reply. The reason? Probably to control the amount of users so it doesn’t affect the servers. So what is Pinterest? Basically it allows users to create customized themed boards to pin their images, video, and other objects to. So if you like a recipe, you can “pin” it to your virtual pin board. Usually if you click through the picture you can visit the site to get that recipe or piece of clothing you like. So how is this beneficial to law enforcement? Good question. The demographics of the users of Pinterest show that users are predominately women. If anything, agencies should reserve their name to avoid copycat sites poising to be law enforcement. A couple of departments have already set up boards, the ...

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Monday, April 09, 2012

Humor in Houston

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 blog post comes from Senior Office Mike McCoy of the Houston, Texas, Police Department (HPD). Mike has been a police officer since 1982, and has worked in recruiting until 2009. Mike created a successful blog (www.hpdblog.com) in 2007 to help reach out to possible recruits on a more personal level. Mike is now working in public affairs where he maintains the HPD Facebook, Twitter, and of course the Recruiting Blog, where it all started. He not only maintains these sites, but also takes a majority of the photos and produces some of the video. Please contact Mike at officermccoy@gmail.com or 713-308-3206 if you have any ideas or questions. What is the perception of a police officer to the general public? Many times in my thirty years as a Houston police officer I have attended gatherings where it’s inevitable that someone tells me that they are shocked when they find out I am a police officer because I have a sense of humor. The general public; the ones who have no friends, relative ...

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Friday, April 06, 2012

It's the Little Things - Part 1, Facebook

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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Who’s going to monitor it? Are we going to delete comments? Who’s going to post items? What should we post? How often should we post? The questions regarding social media use could go on and on, and we realize it’s quite easy to get overwhelmed just thinking about police agencies using social media, let alone actually doing it. That’s why I offer some of the little things you can do that matter a lot to your audience: * Like all the positive comments people leave on your Facebook page. It’s a single click either on an item you’ve posted that people commented on or a stand-alone comment that someone has left on your wall, and it tells each individual that you read what they wrote and you liked it. It shows them that you’re listening, and a lot of times, that’s all people want to know. * Share applicable statuses, links, and photos from other city departments and/or law enforcement agencies when it’s appropriate. For example, when Virginia Common ...

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Monday, April 02, 2012

Information Released Before Being Officially Released

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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Law enforcement is trying to adapt. Trying to figure out the different facets of this thing we call social media. Some embrace it, some accept it, some fight it kicking and screaming. But the bottom line is ignoring it won’t make it go away. We are lucky, we haven’t had to really deal with this, but some agencies have: how to handle information about an ongoing event being tweeted and posted by citizen observers. I think the first knee jerk reaction from most agencies is just ignoring it. But is that the smartest thing to do? Because when you post information you want to get out, what if everyone else just ignored it? A recent case comes to mind. While on the other side of the pond, this case shows how we still need to be cautious not to jump the gun to get the information out. Basically, the Manchester Police in the UK tweeted out they found a missing girl safe, problem was they hadn’t told the “mum” yet who saw the post (click here for news article).  But I wanted 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 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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