The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Friday, August 31, 2012

New Facebook Scam

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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As the summer comes to a close and the kids head back to school, many people are catching up on uploading their vacation and other summer photos to their Facebook timeline. You may be tempted to click on the links when you receive an e-mail notifying you that you have been tagged in a Facebook photo, but be cautious. A new scam has been circulating, masked as a Facebook picture notification. This scam encourages users to view the photos they were tagged in. However, clicking on the link allows hackers to gain control over computers with Windows operating systems. Facebook e-mail notifications typically tell you what friend has tagged you in a picture, but this malware campaign states “one of your friends added a new photo with you to the album.” So be cautious if you receive such an e-mail, and do not open attachments or click links from individuals and addresses you do not know. For more on Facebook security, visit their security page at 

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Twitter Rumors: Notifications Help Control

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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It’s been said, “News breaks on Twitter." But what if the ‘news’ is wrong? It was last Saturday morning. The first Saturday in several weeks I wasn’t out of town or at a family function. Because I was playing with sprinklers and digging in the yard, I missed an early morning text notification. A couple hours later, I looked at my phone screen and saw a series of tweets that had started about 8:30 a.m. The tweet said: @BoisePD Is it true a teenage child w/Autism was found in Boise & unable to provide info on parents, home address & you are asking for help? Because I’d missed the notification from my phone and hadn’t responded, the individual decided to tweet: Urgent child w/autism by the name "Raymond" been found by @BoisePD. Call (208) XXX-XXXX if you know where his parents are. Pls RT #autism Within the next few minutes, about a dozen others had retweeted the “urgent” news and plea for help that appeared to have come from the depart ...

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Keeping Up With Changes

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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It seems like almost every day something is changing in the world of social media. There’s a new networking site, a new app or, even more challenging, suddenly new settings on the sites you feel you finally have a solid grasp on. One of the best ways you can stay on top of that is by keeping up with the current trends in law enforcement and social media. Sound like even more work? Maybe, but this little bit of preparation can go a long way in keeping you in the know. Here are a few Web sites that are updated regularly with important information in ways that make it easy to understand and quick to read: The IACP Social Media Web site may see obvious, but even though I’ve been using social media at RPD for almost four years now, I still learn interesting facts and ideas from the different topics and case studies of other police departments on the IACP site. The case studies are one of the most fascinating to me because it shows you how every agency uses social media differently and how they ca ...

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Friday, August 17, 2012

How Much Time Do You REALLY Spend On Your Agency's 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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This is probably one of the most asked questions I get when making presentations around the country at conferences. And the answer I give is always very vague: “It depends.”   The reason it depends is because on any given day it could change. What happened overnight? What’s happening now? But the bottom line is, it takes too much time should not be a reason to not have a social media presences in your agency. You can do it with the resources you currently have in place. You might not be able to do as much, but even if you spend an hour a day, letting the community know you are there and interacting is enough for starters. Some things you can do on social media with limited resources and time: •    Post press releases to Facebook. Post a short Tweet about the press release with a link to your Facebook page on Twitter. Time: 15 minutes. •    Upload a video to YouTube or Facebook and send a link out on Twitter. Time: 20-30 minutes. &bu ...

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Is an App Right for Your 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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By some estimates, 49.7% of people in the United States have a smartphone and by 2014, that number could rise to over 70%. As a result of the proliferation of smartphones, the app market has exploded. Consumers would rather click on an app on their phone or tablet to access content specifically designed for their device, rather than accessing a Web site which may be much slower and lack some of the mobile functionality. Estimates vary but many reports suggest there are over 500,000 apps for the Android and over 300,000 apps for the iPhone. In light of these staggering statistics, should your department consider getting an app and if you decide to, what are your options? First, you must decide if an app is right for your department. In making this decision, consideration must be given to smartphone and tablet usage in your community, how active your community is with social media and how active your department is with social media. Another item to consider is how often the content of the department website ...

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Social Media Chess

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

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

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Admittedly, I am not a very good chess player in the conventional definition of the game. I know what the pieces can do. I know that you have to play several moves ahead in your mind and consider what the ramifications of your moves will be on your opponent. Your opponent does the exact same thing. Analyzes your current move, potential moves, and considers what moves he or she will put in play to deflect your offence and implement their strategy to their own advantage. What does chess have to do with law enforcement's use of social media? Everything! I have often used the challenge and strategy of a great chess match in how I respond to questions, criticism, and comments from the audience. This isn’t always needed. When someone says, “Good morning” online, you know probably know right away that there is no sinister back thought to the gesture. But sooner or later, you’ll see the Tweet or Facebook post that causes that 6th sense tingle in your gut which makes you think, &ldq ...

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Monday, August 06, 2012

Top Five Myths About Managing Social Media

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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No bona fide blog would be complete without the occasional obligatory “top five list” or “mythbusters” post. So let’s just knock both out right here. Below are some common mythological laments from police administrators resisting the plunge into social media. Social Media is a Royal Time Suck Managing social media is only as time consuming as you allow it to be. You don’t have to waste away hours looking at Twitter feeds, blog posts, and Facebook pages. You can, but you don’t have to. Put yourself on a schedule: shoot for one Facebook post each day, a couple of tweets daily, and maybe a blog post every week or so. If you miss your targets, so what, no one is keeping score. Furthermore, you don’t have to be “everywhere” – pick the platform you like best and go with it for awhile before moving onto others. I don’t have the staff to devote to this! I can hear you now … “I barely have the staff to patrol the streets, much ...

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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 Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, which is the largest, full-service sheriff’s office in the state of Colorado. Prior to that, she spent more than six years creating and leading the Richmond, Virginia, Police Department’s social media efforts, which led to international acclaim and recognition.

She has spoken about law enforcement and social media at more than a dozen conferences across the country in addition to four IACP annual conferences. Waugh is a former newspaper reporter who wrote about crime, police, and the court system for several 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 @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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 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.

Zach Perron

Lieutenant Zach Perron is the public affairs manager for the Palo Alto (CA) Police Department. Zach was a 2014 visiting fellow at the IACP in the Center for Social Media. He serves on the steering committee for the Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group (BALESMG), and is a member of the US. Department of Homeland Security's Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG). He holds a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Stanford University and is now pursuing a graduate education at the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, California.  You can follow him on Twitter: @zpPAPD.

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

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 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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