The Social Media Beat

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The Social Media Beat

Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Back, Looking Forward

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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Reflecting on the past year of law enforcement and social media use to me shows a tremendous amount of growth, creativity, and partnerships, not just for Richmond Police, but also for agencies across the country and the world. More agencies are inspired and encouraged (Yay for buy-in from the top!) to start using social media every day. They’re trying some amazingly new and creative ways to connect with their community—from personalized videos to in-depth TweetAlongs! And most importantly they’re recognizing that social media is far, far more than just a passing fad. In Richmond, I’m proud to say that one of our goals for the New Year includes creating more social media accounts for some of our officers who interact most often with the public as leaders of the department’s different sectors. For example, Sector 213 Lt. David Naoroz celebrates one year this month of his use of @RPDLtDave Twitter and Foursquare accounts, but another sector lieutenant has requested an official ...

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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Best of Police in Social Media 2013

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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Any blog worthy of its loyal readership needs a year end, best-of list. Lest The Social Media Beat not disappoint, here are the top law enforcement social media stories from 2013. Cheap Otter, an Internet Sensation Chief David Oliver (or “Cheap Otter” as his preschool admirers call him) and the Brimfield Police Department Facebook page were an early 2013 internet sensation. They started the year with 20,000 likes – not bad for a town of about 8,000.  By summer, that number tripled as major news outlets took note.  Now, following a highly publicized retort to rapper to Kanye West, likes are topping 130,000. Random Acts of Kindness … with “Sole” A picture is worth a thousand words and at least as many shares and likes. Such was the case with this photo of a Toronto police officer  tying an elderly man’s shoes.  There must be something about this theme. At the end of 2012, a NYPD officer enjoyed 15 minutes of fame for a viral photo of him off ...

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Using Video to Deliver Your Holiday Safety Message

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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It’s that time of year again.  The time when police departments around the country put out holiday safety tips.  Usually they include: don’t talk on cell phones while walking through parking lots, don’t leave valuables in plain sight in your car, and don’t carry lots of cash and credit cards.  But it seems that year after year, we in law enforcement start sounding more like Charlie Brown’s teacher, you know: wah, wah, wah, and our messages disappears into space. Well now many agencies are catching on and they are using video, holiday songs, and their own to deliver new enhanced messages.  Take for example the Hampton Police Department in Virginia; they made their own video to get the message out: The Tampa Police Department did the same. And the list goes on and on.  Here in Boca Raton, we did the same.  This year we used two videos.  The first was made by the Victoria, Texas, Police Department.  The singer is actually a sergeant and ...

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Creating Videos in the Palm of Your Hand

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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At the recent IACP Conference in Philadelphia, 16 social media classes on a wide variety of topics were offered.  There were several sessions which specifically addressed using video and the topic came up during discussion time at several other sessions as well.    After attending these sessions, I decided to try and record and edit a Halloween safety video for the Dunwoody Police Department using my iPhone 5 exclusively.  I believe video reaches your community in ways that text or photos can’t.   First, I downloaded the app iMovie from Apple.  This app allows you to put photos, video, and other information together into a final product.  You can use this app to share the finished video using several different platforms including YouTube.  In a search of the app store, I located Intro Designer.  Intro Designer has intro templates covering various topical subjects, which can be downloaded and customized for your use.  I used this app to design a cus ...

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Flexible-Platform Media Messaging – If “Everything IS a Press Release,” Consider Using “Everything AS a Press Release”

By Dave Norris

Dave Norris

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

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Last week our IACP PIO Working Group received a request for assistance from a large agency in the southeast United States. This agency uses a standard process for releasing formalized “Press Releases” and posts them on a “News Room” page on their department website. They currently use social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook very effectively for community engagement, but do not use those platforms for delivery of formal “press release” materials.   This agency discovered that some partner agencies in surrounding jurisdictions were tweeting this agency’s press-release related information before they were.  Although the originating agency had formally released the information, they felt like they were being “scooped” on Twitter by partner agencies, and were concerned that the information coming from other agencies’ Twitter accounts might confuse the public, or worse yet, cause a lack of scene or situation control for the o ...

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Monday, December 09, 2013

Using Instagram to Increase Your LESM Presence

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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Sgt. Jay O’Neill is one of two Public Information Officers for the Glendale, Arizona, Police Department.  A relative newcomer to the law enforcement public information sector, Sgt. O’Neill has led the Glendale Police Department in embracing social media and community outreach.  Sgt. O’Neill has been with the Glendale Police Department since 2005 and previously served as both a communications operator and police officer in Oceanside, CA.  During his 15+ years as a sworn officer, Sgt. O’Neill has enjoyed assignments to motors, SWAT, neighborhood policing, DUI enforcement, and patrol. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But today we ask, “How many characters is that picture worth?”  Studies are beginning to show that social media interactions are up to twice as likely to garner engagement (likes, shares, favorites, etc.) when they include an image.  But with so many choices for sharing photos and videos, and more social media platform ...

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Friday, December 06, 2013

Promoting Internet Safety within Your Agency

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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Using only a Facebook profile and a LinkedIn profile, a woman was able to convince employees at a government agency that she was one of their coworkers and obtained a company laptop and network credentials. She was then able to gain administrative rights and authorities to install applications, obtain passwords, and access documents with sensitive information. While the profile pictures were of a real woman, a waitress at a restaurant near the agency that was targeted, almost everything else was fake. In reality, the woman was two male researchers from a computer and network security company. Her personal information, education and employment history, and IT background were made up. The only other real things were the hundreds of people she befriended—some of whom contacted her with job offers, congratulated her on the fictitious job she updated her profile with, and helped her get the hardware and access she needed—and the holiday e-cards linked to an attack site—that she sent out to ma ...

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

To Be the Best, It Needs to be a Team Effort

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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Most police agencies that are using social media these days have likely designated one person to do the job, and likely for good reasons such as limited resources, skill level, and interest in the work. But several recent experiences have taught me that to truly be successful it needs to be a team effort. At the very least, the main person in charge of your social media accounts needs someone with whom he or she can bounce around ideas. It bolsters creativity, protects your agency from embarrassment, and provides important backup support in the case of an emergency or when that one person just needs a day off. The first example I give you is a fun one. A citizen tweeted @RichmondPolice asking if they could make a citizen’s arrest of their friend who didn’t like Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. We thought we would have a fun exchange and build some good will in the community by responding in a humorous way. I immediately thought of the classic Pink Floyd song “The Wall” and my Pu ...

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Monday, December 02, 2013

The Best Social Media Police Account

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

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

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Look at Twitter or Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram long enough and it will become quite clear that there is a major difference between the best police/law enforcement social media players and the rest. Listen to the circles enough and very quickly you will hear someone laugh at the thought of who the best is.  You may even agree or disagree with who the best is.   The best isn’t defined by the size of the audience they are delivering their message to.  They aren’t defined by the number of accounts they have under their umbrella.  Followers, friends, fans, subscribers don’t count in determining who the best social police are. The best social media account has nothing to do with an expert saying they are or aren’t the best.  In fact, an expert saying they are the best or worst can be taken out at the knees for that kind of thinking, pretty much removing their relevance as an expert. Curious about whom the best is?  Are you ready to find out?&nbs ...

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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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