The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Thursday, November 12, 2015

“Good Sergeanting” and LESM

By Dave Norris

Dave Norris

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

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This blog is tuned to all levels of supervision and management, but focuses on the first level supervisors - those who have the valued responsibility of conducting shift briefings. I hope this is informative to you all - even if you are a veteran supervisor who, like me and others, started in this business by putting pencil to paper. There is so much noise around us now from the media - and our resources for "teachable moments" are virtually immeasurable - conventional media, social media (mainstream AND on our personal SM streams), and aggregator sources (I get a daily snapshot from both PERF and PoliceOne, and IACP is rolling out a news service for members) - just to name a few. Another great source I rely upon is the email thread of my local Law Enforcement Social Media Group. I encourage you as supervisors and leaders in your organization to take a few steps to make yourselves informed on law enforcement impacts from social media and use this information to keep your troops as open-eyed, informed, and ...

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Tuesday, November 03, 2015

#IACP2015 Session Recap - How to Create a Law Enforcement Social Media Group

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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I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the 2015 IACP Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago recently and was able to attend a number of really good classes on a variety of subject matters. One of the most interesting classes I attended relating to social media was “How to Create a Law Enforcement Social Media Group,” which had a distinguished panel of experts.  When I say experts, I mean experts who have actually started a Law Enforcement Social Media Group in their area. The expert panelists included; Officer Mike Bires with the Azusa Police Department, who helped start the San Gabriel Valley Law Enforcement Social Media Group (SGVLESM); Dionne Waugh with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, who helped start both the Virginia Law Enforcement Social Media Group (VALESMG) and the recent Colorado Law Enforcement Social Media Group (COLESMG); Lieutenant Dave Norris with the San Mateo Police Department, who helped start the Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group (BALESMG); ...

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

#IACP2015 Recap: When You Lose One of Your Own

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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The final day of the 2015 IACP Annual Conference and Exposition's Public Information Officers Track began with a presentation on how to handle a line of duty death from a PIO perspective, delivered by Public Information Director Jacki Kelley and Digital Communications Manager Dionne Waugh of the Jefferson County (CO) Sheriff's Office. Any time an agency loses one of its own, it is an unspeakable tragedy. For the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, that tragedy occurred twice in twelve months. On January 26, 2014, Sergeant Dave Baldwin was struck and killed while riding his police motorcycle by an elderly wrong-way driver. And on January 3, 2015, Sergeant Sean Renfro was struck and killed by a vehicle while he was on an accident scene in a snowstorm. These were the first line of duty deaths for the Sheriff's Office in more than 20 years. Unlike the other deputies lost before, though, the introduction of social media and instantaneous communication made these tragic events an overwhelming national story from ...

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Monday, October 26, 2015

#IACP2015 Recap: Tips and Tricks to Know if Your Social Media Efforts are Working

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 law enforcement agencies have been using social media to different degrees for several years now, but how do you know if your efforts are working? That was the question during Saturday’s IACP 2015 conference session by Cambridge Police Department Director of Communications Jeremy Warnick. I think Warnick summed it up perfectly with this statement: “It’s about more than the number of likes and followers you have. It’s about engagement,” he said. And engagement is not one way. You can’t just push out information on different platforms and not respond to the questions and comments that come as a result. For example, if you post about a missing person and ask for the community’s help in sharing the information, you need to follow up when the person is found by both creating a new post saying they’ve been found as well as posting a comment in the initial feed so that everyone can see the updated information. Warnick’s three keys poin ...

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

#IACP2015 Recap: Reducing Tensions Between Citizens and Police by Taking Outreach Efforts Social

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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Day 2 at the IACP Annual Conference and Exposition Public Information Officers (PIO) track started off with "Reducing Tensions Between Citizens and Police by Taking Your Outreach Efforts Social" by Laura McElroy. With the backdrop of a challenging year for law enforcement, Laura touched on a number of strategies and efforts to recruit and build relationships in the Tampa, Florida community. Tampa Police Department launched a 6-week recruiting campaign among their faith based community. Wanting a more diverse police force, TPD visited a number of churches and shared about their efforts to outreach in the community while also sparking interest in starting a career in law enforcement. The campaign brought the police department and community closer and also drove up their social media engagement statistics; a definite win/win. In addition to hosting a citizen's police academy for their adult community, TPD created a Teen Citizen's Academy geared towards at-risk youth. This too was highly e ...

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How Does a Law Enforcement Social Media Group Work?

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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You’re reading this blog because you want to better understand law enforcement social media issues, right? You’re far from alone. Most of us who read the great and informative blogs on this site do so because we want to enhance our knowledge and understanding of social media when it comes to law enforcement. I know I do! One of the even better ways to do that is through a law enforcement social media working group. Through our bloggers, you’ve likely heard about a few of them: • the Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group, • the San Gabriel Valley Law Enforcement Social Media Group, • the Virginia Law Enforcement Social Media Group, and the • the Saskatchewan Law Enforcement Social Media Group. Today I’m here to tell you about a new one and to let you know if you attend the upcoming IACP Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, you can hear even more from the creators and members of each of these groups! On Su ...

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Social Media Notifications and Engagement: Two Sides of the Same Coin

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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Last year, IACP conducted a survey of law enforcement agencies and 95% stated they used social media (most for investigative purposes). That's a great metric and a huge change from a few years ago. There's no question social media is mainstream, not only for the public but also for law enforcement. Yet, even though your agency is "on social media," are you missing out on a great opportunity to grow trust with your community? There is a distinct difference between using social media for notifications (one-way communication) and using social media for engagement (two-way conversations). Both are needed and are actually two sides of the same coin. Used correctly, it's a powerful tool to reach and engage your community. Used incorrectly and your audience will ignore or mock your efforts. Here are some tips to look like a pro in the digital world: Notifications  Using social media channels for community notifications is fairly easy for most law enforcement agencies. In our business, we're used to sending/r ...

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Monday, October 12, 2015

IACP 2015 Chicago: Public Information Track Preview

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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Five years ago I was honored to be part of the first social media session at IACP in Orlando 2010. At the time social media was fairly new, especially to law enforcement. Late in 2008 we were one of the first departments to actively start using Facebook and Twitter to reach out to the community. I was told we would be happy if 50 people showed up for the presentation at IACP 2010. By the time it started we had standing room only, 125 people packed the room to hear about this new thing people were using. By a show of hands not many were using any social media platforms and even less wanted to start. But they showed up to see what it was all about. Fast forward to IACP 2014 in Orlando and what a different four years makes. There were four days of Public Information sessions, many addressing the different aspects of social media. It was held in one of the larger rooms at the conference and nearly every session was packed. IACP 2015 in Chicago promises to deliver even more. This year th ...

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Social Media Strategy

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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How do you get such great stuff to post and why is it so popular? That’s the most common thing I’m asked now that law enforcement agencies have, for the most part, moved beyond their fear of dealing with negative comments on social media. The answer is simple: strategy. And it’s not a complicated one either! In short, it’s about knowing when people are using your social media platforms and posting the content you do have at the right times and with the right lingo. These are my three biggest pieces of strategy advice: 1-Know how to post 2-Know when to post 3-Know what to post Let’s start with the how. There are several apps that let you link your social media platforms so you can cross post with one click, meaning you can post to Facebook and the same content will automatically post to Twitter, a blog and other sites. But this isn’t considered good practice because your audiences are different on each platform. I will be the first to admit that for several ...

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Go Big or Go Home: NYPD's Twitter Strategy

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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In New York City (NYC), we go big or go home. In a little over a year the New York Police Department (NYPD) has gone from 0 to 100 in the world of social media, quite literally. At the beginning of 2014, the NYPD had one centralized Twitter account; today we boast 109 accounts (with close to 500,000 followers among them), each serving as the voice of an individual commander or chief. The accounts are run exclusively by the commanding officers and uniformed members of their staff. While the guidelines and training are set by our office at 1 Police Plaza, the content is not. Commanding officers are encouraged to speak in their own voices and use these accounts to engage with their communities regarding specific issues relevant in their fields. Before you rush to open 100 new Twitter accounts for your agency, it’s important to note that large-scale operations are not necessarily the best option for everyone. For most municipalities, one account on multiple platforms can serve as a great one-stop-shop for ...

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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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