The Social Media Beat

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The Social Media Beat

Monday, April 29, 2013

With a Little Help From My Friends: Social Social Media Management

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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The repeat use of the word “social” in the title is not a typo. Today, we are discussing a new resource to help social media managers connect with like-minded professionals for advice and mentorship. The IACP, under the auspices of its Discover Policing recruitment initiative and the New Police Chief Mentoring Project, has launched a new online mentoring center -- a place where current and future law enforcement professionals can connect.  This resource is not limited to sworn officers.  Civilian support personnel, including social media managers, are welcome and encouraged to take advantage of this exciting new resource. The use of social media in law enforcement is increasingly commonplace, but the technology is still new and the landscape is ever-evolving.  As a result, those responsible for managing a department’s social media presence, whether they are experienced Web 2.0 gurus or just fulfilling “other duties as assigned,” still have questions.  An ...

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Social Media Response to Crimes in Progress

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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The use of social media by law enforcement has grown exponentially over the last several years.  Overall, that growth has been beneficial for most agencies.  In fact, agencies have benefited by improving their interactions with the community, educating their citizens, promoting their positive achievements and disseminating real time information to the community.  However, not every aspect of this social media phenomenon has been positive.  One challenge facing most agencies is how to handle the posting of information about crimes in progress or reporting of crimes after the fact by citizens on the agencies social media outlets. It is impossible for most law enforcement agencies to monitor all of their social media channels 24/7 and respond to calls for service.  Therefore, it is important for all agencies that use any social media platform to post a notice in the description or information section which clearly states the site is not monitored 24/7 and any request for police servic ...

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What Is Your Mission?

By Frank Domizio

Frank Domizio

Frank Domizio is a Corporal with the Philadelphia Police Department in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Have you ever tried to fit the pieces of your communications plan into a social media sized box? It can be a challenge to say the least. Crafting a meaningful and coherent message in 140 characters or less is not a job for the faint of heart. Having a mission statement can provide much needed direction and purpose for your team.   While forming a post, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter or another platform, it is extremely helpful to have the cornerstone ideas of your organization’s social media in the back of your mind. It helps with everything from keeping your post concise and interesting to syntax and grammar. Your mission statement does not have to be a set of Ikea instructions. In fact, it should be short and to the point, just enough to get your point across. The Philadelphia Police Department’s social media mission statement goes like this: The mission of the Philadelphia Police Department's social media initiative is to foster partnerships with the community in order to pro ...

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Reminds Us - The Importance of Rumor Control on Social Media

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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Perhaps you saw this tweet on Wednesday, April 17th:   Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack. @Boston_Police To their credit, despite trying to manage a chaotic week in their city, Boston Police were on top of monitoring social media. The agency was able to quickly jump on Twitter and renounce misinformation. Perhaps you also saw a tweet like this coming shortly afterwards: #CNN is reporting that#letsgetitright has won the 2013 Kentucky Derby! You heard it here first. @The_LifeofRiley  (tweeted 4-18, two weeks before the Derby) It's funny to read but addresses a very real and serious issue we in law enforcement need to confront in this day of instant, fragmented release of news. It may not be factual. It was very reassuring to read in an article posted April 18th on examiner.com: Follow the Boston Police Department on Twitter @Boston_Police and the FBI @FBIPressoffice for the most accurate information on the Boston Marathon bombings ...

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Social Media 2.0

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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We are always trying to come up with new ways to engage our audience. In law enforcement, it's ways to keep our residents and those around us updated on what is happening in the City of Boca Raton. Over the last couple of years we have gone from just a website, to a news section on the page, www.bocapolice.com. Then we added a Twitter page, www.twitter.com/bocapolice and Facebook, www.facebook.com/bocapolice. We also created a You Tube page, www.youtube.com/bocapolice to upload videos of crimes and educational videos. Now we turn the page, and enter into Social Media 2.0 in Law Enforcement. On a daily basis we post the last 24 hours of the blotter on our website for the media and anyone else who wants to see it. But who has time to sit there and read through 30-40 crimes every morning. So we have come up with our own news minute, a quick recap on video of the last 24 hours. We call it “Boca Beat in 60 beats.” It’s simple. Look at the blotter for the last 24 hours, find some good arrest ...

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Riding Along Via Twitter

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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Richmond Police recently did its first virtual ride along, also known as a TweetAlong to give the community an idea of what its officers deal with during an average shift. To some it may seem a little passé since many police agencies have done virtual ride alongs for a while now, but it was a first for us and it was a big deal. We’d like to share our successful experience so that others who are contemplating doing it can learn about what we did and figure out how it could work for their agency. We decided that since this was our first foray into live tweeting a patrol, I would do the tweeting as the PIO, and the officer would just go about his regular duties. Next we had to find an officer who would be interested in having his actions essentially live tweeted for a few hours, and one who wouldn’t mind answering question from the Twitterverse. We chose Master Police Officer Al Joyner, a nearly 20-year veteran officer who, though he was on Facebook, didn’t know that much about ...

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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Recognizing Law Enforcement Volunteers through Social Media

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 post comes from Jennifer Styles, Project Specialist for the national Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program at the International Association of Chiefs of Police. One of the many advantages of social media is being able to reach a large audience. With that large audience come unique opportunities to recognize your agency’s law enforcement volunteers. National Volunteer Week is April 21 through April 27, so now is a good time to think about thanking your volunteers.  Volunteer recognition is essentially the paycheck your volunteers receive for the work they do. Thanking them for their time and accomplishments is essential to retaining a strong, committed group of volunteers. You can magnify the impact of the recognition via social media and getting the message out to their friends, neighbors, families, and colleagues. Recognizing your volunteers publicly has the side benefits of sharing positive stories about your agency with the community and inspiring new volu ...

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Pinning the Police - It's A Good Thing

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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When it comes to what’s popular on social media sites, it’s all about the visuals. That’s why the still relatively new site Pinterest is taking off so quickly, and why police need to consider using that platform as a way to reach and educate its community. We at Richmond Police signed up last year and have been figuring it out and trying new things as time permitted. We’ve learned that animal photo boards, especially our K-9 and mounted, are extremely popular and get lots of likes and repins. No surprise there, but it has also been interesting to learn that our historical photo boards are also quite popular. We have a board featuring the photos of all of our police chiefs with a short blurb about each of them. We also created a board of photos to honor all of our fallen officers, and we’re in the process of creating a board full of all of the historical photos we can find. We’ve been fortunate recently to have some Pinterest-savvy interns in our office who not onl ...

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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 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.

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 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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