The Social Media Beat

Working Together: Creating the Virginia Law Enforcement Social Media Group

Working Together: Creating the Virginia Law Enforcement Social Media Group

By: Dionne Waugh
Date: Friday, May 09, 2014

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is a member of the Richmond Police Department's Public Affairs Unit in Richmond, Virginia. Follow Dionne on Twitter @RichmondPolice.

Read Full Bio

In this space, you read volumes of good information from several talented and diverse law enforcement individuals about all the best ways to make social media work for your agency.

The only thing better than that is experiencing and learning the information in person with a group of like-minded professionals.

To that end, Richmond PD just partnered with the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police to launch the Virginia Law Enforcement Social Media Group. The goal is to have quarterly meetings across the state as well as a smaller, planning committee that talks monthly to plan a diverse agenda.

Creating this group has been a personal goal of mine ever since I first heard about the Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group (BALESMG), created by the Redwood City and Fremont Police Departments.

The idea of law enforcement agencies not just considering using social media, but actually embracing it so much so that they get together to brainstorm ideas, discuss issues and experiences, and strategize ways they could work together is incredibly inspiring! According to my colleague, Lt. Zach Perron with the Palo Alto Police Department, ours is only the third such group in existence and the first outside of California. The second is the San Gabriel Valley Law Enforcement Social Media Group.

Virginia is such a small state that most of us in law enforcement either already know one another or have at least heard about the person or agency. And if not, this group now connects us. I personally follow several law enforcement agencies across Virginia that use social media to see how they do things and I know several of the people behind the good work so I thought, why can’t we create a group here?

I peppered my fellow IACP blogger Dave Norris with questions about how theirs was set up, their agenda, and the basic event planning before partnering with my friends at the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. Between my connections and theirs, we were able to reach a good variety of agencies across the state that then came to our first meeting on May 1, held at the Richmond Police Training Academy.

I’m proud to say we had more than 40 people in attendance from across the state, ranging from chiefs to lieutenants, detectives to civilian PIOs. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I think every single person in that room told me at some point during the event that they got something out of the meeting. Whether it was connecting with someone at another agency, learning something new, or just being happy to have other individuals with whom they can ask questions, the meeting was definitely a success.

I think some officers who recognize the importance of using social media are often teased by their colleagues who don’t realize how critical it is. This group gives them the support they need to move ahead with their endeavors.

The meeting was only three hours and included:

•    a presentation from myself, Lt. Dan Minton, Lt. Dave Naoroz, and Deputy Chief John Buturla about some of our experiences using social media at Richmond Police,
•    networking,
•    a vendor presentation,
•    a brief presentation from the IACP about their resources, and,
•    a presentation from the Hampton Police Department’s Officer Leon Robertson about their homemade, viral “Jingle Bells” video

We provided coffee and some of Richmond’s best Power Rings, aka doughnuts from the Sugar Shack, and it was a very productive policing meeting. Everyone had a chance to ask questions throughout the event and many people offered several good suggestions for topics at future meetings, in addition to offering to host the next meeting.

We have also set up an e-mail listserv so people can stay in touch and get feedback anytime they have a question.

All in all, it was a great success and we can’t wait for the next meeting this summer. Agencies that are interested in joining can do so via the VACP site.
Popular tags:

Comments

What’s Your Point of View? Join the discussion »

    Leave a Reply

    Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site.

     [Quick Submit with Ctrl+Enter]

    Text/HTML

    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.

    Search this blog

    Search

    View Posts

    By Date

    By Author

    By Tag

    About the Authors

    Dionne Waugh

    Dionne Waugh is the social media guru for the Richmond Police Department. As a member of the Department's Public Affairs Unit since September 2008, she created and developed the agency's successful use of social media and continues to try and find new ways to improve the way Richmond Police communicate online. She has spoken about law enforcement and social media at more than a dozen conferences across the country in addition to the past four IACP annual conferences. Waugh is a former newspaper reporter who wrote about crime, police, and the court system for six 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 @RichmondPolice.

    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.

    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.

    Ben Gorban

    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.

    Created by Matrix Group International, Inc.