Date: Wednesday, July 09, 2014
It’s a huge honor to have the opportunity to blog for the IACP. This is my first official post so I wanted to start off with a short introductory piece about how I came into my current role.
I was born and raised in the city of Hampton and have worked for the Hampton Police Division since 2009. Long before I ever thought about becoming a police officer I have been making short films, designing graphics, and marketing on social media. One of the things about my agency that I always thought we could do better was use the web to interact with the community.
Timing is everything and I am usually prone to bad luck, but things seemed to come together in perfect form for me to get the chance to do what my true passion is each day at work. Chief Sult joined the Hampton Police Division in late 2013, and places a high value on using the technological platforms available to enhance our partnerships with the community. This was roughly the same period of time that I was selected to join the Community Relations Unit, which previously oversaw our social media accounts. Captain Jeff Walden wanted to do more with the social media accounts that we had, which had gone relatively dormant due to some personnel issues. He trusted me to completely change the way we reached our community. I can’t thank him enough for believing in me from the beginning.
As a young patrol officer, it is extremely rare to end up in the Public Information Office. Sgt. Jason Price and Cpl. Mary Shackelford had an immense interest in improving the way we reach the public. They constantly instilled in me that we should never rely on the media as a sole method to communicate with the community. They believed in what we were doing so much that they actually transitioned exclusively to tweeting out press releases. This guarantees that the community gets the FULL story the very second that the media does.
Since the beginning of my tenure as the Social Media Coordinator for the Hampton Police Division in late 2013, I have created numerous viral campaigns that have been seen all over the world. USA Today, Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News… you name it. NONE of this would be possible if I didn’t have cool bosses that encourage creativity, and allow me to think outside of the box. Literally as I finish up this blog. . . I found out that I will be appearing on the national television program “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Network to discuss a video that I produced that highlights youth violence and that everyone is “Made of Stars” (http://bit.ly/1jZ2LJP
). The future is bright and agencies who invest in social media will be on the right side of history. I can’t wait to share more ideas with all of you!