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 offering a barefoot homeless man a pair of boots.
Hampton Police Get Their Jingle On
The Hampton Police Division in Virginia is well on its way to having one of the most watched police public service announcements of the year with its Holiday Safety Remix
. The video features a remake of “Jingle Bells,” with a twist: “Shoplifting is a crime, and Santa doesn’t play, so if you see a criminal call HPD today."
Police Chief Recruitment 2.0
The City of Hillsboro, Oregon, simultaneously drew praise and criticism for producing a light-hearted recruitment video
for its next police chief. The video, described as part Law and Order, part Parks and Recreation, was posted in August quickly gained national attention, ultimately getting picked up by CNN
Use of (Light) Force in Perspective
A citizen's video
of Hamilton (Ontario) constables subduing a hysterical female suspect resisting arrest was posted in mid-December, and now boasts nearly two million views. The officers, who knew they were being videotaped, are still being praised for maintaining their poise throughout the incident and calmly explaining their actions once it was over.
Military + Helping Others = Success
Again, back to helping the elderly. In June, the Dunwoody, Georgia, Police Department took Facebook by storm with a wholesome post of an Army specialist helping change a tire on a major interstate highway. Dunwoody Chief Grogan breaks down the factors contributing to the story’s popularity in this Social Media Beat blog post
The Marathon Bombings, Boston Police, & Twitter
Like almost no agency before them, the Boston Police
capitalized on social media – particularly Twitter- to manage the message and control the story of the marathon bombings. They effectively became the public’s go-to news outlet
, out-scooping the media as THE source for timely and accurate information.
Share your social media success story, or any I may have overlooked, in the comments below.