The Social Media Beat

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The Social Media Beat

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Taking Your Message to the Next Level

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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Today’s post is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Taking Your Message to the Next Level: Advanced Social Media session on Sunday, October 20. Boise, Idaho; Boca Raton, Florida; and Seattle, Washington. These are three very different parts of the country with three very different types of crime, demographics, and police departments and yet they all use different social media platforms with the same goals: to educate, communicate, and interact with their communities. Though their session at the IACP 2013 conference was titled “Taking Your Message to the Next Level: Advanced Social Media,” I think any agency at any level can use these tips. Boise Police Communications Director Lynn Hightower mentioned three different types of social media tools and explained how they could benefit an agency: 1-Twitter alerts. The IACP has written a more detailed post on these, but Lynn explained that every agency should sig ...

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Using Social Media as an Investigative Tool

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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Today’s post is the first in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Using Social Media as an Investigative Tool session on Sunday, October 20. This Chief Executive Track workshop, kicked off with some highlights from IACP’s fourth annual social media survey including that 86.1% of law enforcement agencies use social media for investigative purposes and 80.4% of agencies state that social media has helped solve crime in their jurisdiction. Director Vernon Keenan of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation discussed the use of technology in law enforcement today and the nexus between privacy and technology in today’s society. Director Keenan acknowledged that there hasn’t been a lot of focus on what law enforcement should and shouldn’t be doing and that case law pertaining to the role of social media in investigations is still emerging. This gap demonstrates that it is imperative that law enforcement executives conduct their activi ...

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Giving Your Community What They Want vs. What They Need

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’s an age-old question: Do you give the people want they want to see or what they need to know?And it’s the question several of us who run our police agency’s social media sites also ponder. Do we post information about crimes, which are usually scary, unsettling, and bad for the image of the community, but good for the community to know and helpful for us to generate tips and arrests? Do we post wanted posters that, if Facebook analytics are accurate, generate very little interest, or do we post cute photos of our K9 and Mounted Units that go a long way in generating new Facebook likes and many positive impressions about what our officers do?The answer lies somewhere in between finding the right balance of content that satisfies your department’s needs and goals and what the community finds most interesting.In Richmond, we have found that our “most popular” postings are usually those that are about the positive things are officers are doing in the community. That would be the photos of officers at communit ...

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Social Media is Going to the Dogs

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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There are a lot of different ways to be successful on social media. One of the few universal rules of social media is that people love, love, love pictures of animals. Ask most agencies about their most popular social media posts and they usually involve a picture of a furry friend. Some agencies are taking this a step further... Allowing their K9s to have their very own social media accounts. Here are the K9s we follow and what they have to say: @BPDK9Bushido of the Boston Police Department conversing with BPD Superintendent Ed Davis: @K9Ares of the San Rafael Police Department (K9 Faro also tweets!): @PPDK9Thor of the Philadelphia Police Department: Any other K9s tweeting? Let us know so we can follow them!

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Friday, October 18, 2013

IACP 2013 Social Media Survey Results

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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This fall, the IACP conducted its fourth annual social media survey. This year’s survey included 500 agencies representing 48 states. The survey helps to identify trends, challenges, and emerging issues faced by state, tribal, campus, and local law enforcement leaders in the United States.  The information collected is used to help inform the IACP’s Center for Social Media and other IACP efforts. The survey results have been referenced in dozens of news articles and research papers from around the world. We have observed tremendous growth in the use of social media over the last year. As in previous years, the most popular social media activity is criminal investigations:   Some other survey highlights:   •    The most frequently used social media platforms are Facebook (92.1%),        Twitter (64.8%), and YouTube (42.9%). •    57.1% of agencies not currently using social media are considering its   &nb ...

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

IACP Launches Law Enforcement Cyber Center

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 we have discussed on The Social Media Beat, law enforcement can leverage the benefits of social media to educate larger audiences on crime prevention tactics and tips and to promote awareness of important issues. With more of our daily interactions and transactions taking place online, personal information being posted on social media sites and stored on banking and shopping sites, and evidence being stored on networks, law enforcement agencies and communities are more vulnerable to attacks by criminals, hacktivists, and state and nonstate actors. It is fitting since October is both Crime Prevention Month and National Cyber Security Awareness Month, that the IACP announces the establishment of the Law Enforcement Cyber Center, a partnership between the IACP and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice. Cyber crimes and cyber threats have a significant nexus to social media and have surpassed global terrorist networks as the most immediate threat posed to the United States at all levels ...

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Your Department “Brand” and the Role it Plays in Your Department Messaging

By Chris Hsiung

Chris Hsiung

Captain Chris Hsiung commands the Field Operations Division at the Mountain View Police Department in California. You can follow him on Twitter @chMtnViewPD.

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The American Marketing Association defines “brand” as a "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."1  While none of us have products that we “sell” to our community, we provide services to them 24/7 and all of us strive to have positive customer experiences with our communities in each of our interactions.  In law enforcement terms, your “brand” is your reputation; it’s what your community expects of you and what they innately feel when your organization becomes a topic of conversation.   Social media has proven to be a tremendous tool in helping law enforcement define and reinforce your brand.  If you don’t define your department brand, the public or the media will do it for you.  When you respond to your community within your social media channels, it’s imperative to use your unique brand voice (for a great blog article on “voice ...

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Managing the Message That Delivers Your Message

By Dave Norris

Dave Norris

Dave Norris is a sergeant with San Mateo, California, Police Department.

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Let's discuss: I write this realizing that every agency has their own style and identity – This article is about how we do it @SanMateoPD - please feel free to comment and talk about your agency’s philosophy! Some time ago, I set up my Chief to receive @SanMateoPD’s tweets by text message. I like this for two reasons – First, the alert for a text message is often more noticeable than alerts through the twitter app, and messages from those you follow can get lost in the home feed easily. Secondly, I liked having at least one person receiving tweets who was dialed into the SMPD image, brand, and voice - and would provide me instant feedback as to whether our tweets were “on point.” Chief Manheimer sends me regular messages in follow-up to these tweets. This keeps me focused on both what our agency wants, and what the majority of our followers may perceive from these 140 character snippets. Recently, I noticed a tweet from one of our feeds stating simply “Hey ...

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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Is Your “Voice” Coming Through on Social Media? - Using Social Media to Build Confidence and Trust

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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We do a lot of writing and talking about great new techniques and strategies for social media, all of which are absolutely valuable. We need to learn about the opportunities available through new platforms or new strategies for social media platforms already in use. But be sure to build into your training the most important strategy of all that goes to the very heart of why we engage in social media in the first place – to build relationships that strengthen the public’s confidence and trust in our agencies with the goal of making our communities safe, healthy places to live and work. What is the “voice” your community hears when they tune into your social media? Do your posts read like a police report, or do people hear humility and compassion? Are you “just the facts, ma’am,” or do you begin and end your posts by reminding people the reason we do our jobs is because we truly care about citizens' safety. Do your posts urge citizen assistance or do you thank people ...

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Friday, October 04, 2013

Creating Content for Recruiting

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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Social media is a great way to communicate with and engage the public, but it is also a stellar recruiting tool.  Generating social media content around recruitment can – and should - go beyond merely posting job announcements, exam dates, and application deadlines.  Officer testimonials and virtual-ride-alongs are great for providing insight into what the job entails.  Consider also what kind of content you are putting out there that speaks to your department as an employer.  This information is interesting and informative for potential candidates, but also beneficial to the public at large. Here are some ideas to consider: Mission and Values. Does your agency’s vision, mission, and values shine through your social media? Consider a series of blog posts or videos illustrating how officers are actualizing the department’s mission in different ways.  What are the core values of your department and how does the hiring process seek to identify new recruits who align ...

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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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