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The Social Media Beat

Posts Tagged 'Policy'

Check out all of the posts tagged with 'Policy' below. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search-form at the sidebar.

Tweets and Opinions Don’t Represent My Agency*

The majority of police departments in the United States now have some sort of presence on Twitter, and that’s a good thing. When used correctly and effectively, departments big and small can successfully manage critical incidents by tweeting out tim...

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“Good Sergeanting” and LESM

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 supervis...

Do You Do Training on Personal Use of Social Media for Your Employees? Here's Why it Really is a Good Idea

It’s been said by many an expert – our own employees are our best “brand ambassadors”. If people see their work as important, and feel valued and rewarded, they’ll let others know. Personal experience shared word-of-mouth spe...

Transition and Succession Planning for #LESM – Your Community Expects Continuity!

My colleagues and I have spoken extensively in The Social Media Beat about community engagement, the quality of our output, and developing growth internally and externally within our agencies. When I was asked to incorporate public information as a collat...

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Community Outreach through Social Media: An Agency-Wide Approach

Lt. Andy Johnson is a 15-year veteran of the Hanover Park, IL Police Department.  He currently serves as Commander of Investigations and oversees detectives, special operations, and crime analysis.  Andy has served in a variety of roles within t...

Complaints, Complaints – Two Old Kinds of Complaints Providing New Dilemmas in Social Media

I think about complaints as they relate to our law enforcement profession in two different strains – there are the complaints that we hear from the public that challenge us as an agency to do differently, better, or to refer the complainants under c...

Social Media Monitoring and Special Event Security

Today’s post is the last in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Leveraging Concepts and Techniques of Social Media Monitoring and Analytics to Enhance Special Event Security and Executive Prot...

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Using Social Media as an Investigative Tool

Today’s post is the first in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Using Social Media as an Investigative Tool session on Sunday, October 20. This Chief Executive Track workshop, kicked off wit...

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IACP 2013 Social Media Survey Results

This fall, the IACP conducted its fourth annual social media survey. This year’s survey included 500 agencies representing 48 states. The survey helps to identify trends, challenges, and emerging issues faced by state, tribal, campus, and local law ...

Social Media Workshops at IACP 2013

Social media has been one of the “hot” topics within the IACP for the last few years. This has been reflected in the number of social media-related workshops at IACP’s annual conference (and the attendance at those sessions).  IACP ...

Posting Incident Scene Photos on Social Media: A Word of Caution

Most law enforcement agencies prohibit their staff from taking photos at accident scenes, crime scenes, and other incidents and posting them on their personal social media sites.  This is certainly a best practice and can prevent embarrassing situati...

With a Little Help From My Friends: Social Social Media Management

The repeat use of the word “social” in the title is not a typo. Today, we are discussing a new resource to help social media managers connect with like-minded professionals for advice and mentorship. The IACP, under the auspices of its Disc...

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Social Media Response to Crimes in Progress

The use of social media by law enforcement has grown exponentially over the last several years.  Overall, that growth has been beneficial for most agencies.  In fact, agencies have benefited by improving their interactions with the community, ed...

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Looking Back/Looking Forward

A lot has happened this past year when it comes to law enforcement and social media, and the experience for Richmond Police has been no different. We’ve used various social networking platforms to solve crimes; communicate better with our communi...

No Better Time to Advocate & Educate for the Safety of Our Officers

Scrolling down the news feed on my personal Facebook page last night, I saw a post from a friend who works for a police agency in Alaska. She had shared a post on the death this week of Nassau County, New York, Police Officer Arthur Lopez tragically and s...

News Travels at the Speed of Twitter

Social media helps people stay apprised of world events, traffic, and sports as they happen.  It has also become an integral tool for law enforcement.  Despite its many positive applications, this technology brings challenges when it comes to po...

IACP Conference Workshop: Meet the Bloggers

For the second year in a row, the IACP Conference has featured a "Meet the Bloggers" workshop. It was impressive to see such a well-attended, early morning (and post Host Chief's Night) session!  This session provided an opportunity for audience memb...

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Re-Cap #IACP2012 – Social Media: Challenges and Opportunities

Have you ever been to a conference and left disappointed because you just didn’t find the information you were hoping for? Have you ever felt empty because you took time to attend a session based on the description of it and it just didn’t del...

IACP Conference Workshop: If You Are Going to Use Social Media, Make it Worth Your Time

This session at the IACP Conference was one that I was really looking forward to. As a chief, I am all about engaging in activity that adds value to the organization. rather than wasting the time of my staff. A large audience was in attendance. Lynn Hight...

IACP Releases 2012 Social Media Survey Results

In August 2012, the IACP conducted its third annual social media survey. This year’s survey included 600 agencies representing 48 states. The survey helps to identify trends, challenges, and emerging issues faced by state, tribal, campus, and loca...

Removing Offensive Posts and Blocking Those Who Post Offensive Comments

One of the best values for law enforcement agencies who use social media is the interaction that takes place between the agency and members of the community. Unfortunately, many agencies that use social media platforms, like Facebook, have opted to not al...

Keeping Up With Changes

It seems like almost every day something is changing in the world of social media. There’s a new networking site, a new app or, even more challenging, suddenly new settings on the sites you feel you finally have a solid grasp on. One of the best wa...

What Content Should Be Posted On Social Media Channels?

This is a question asked often by police chiefs, administrators, PIOs, and others who are charged with the task of either posting information or monitoring the content posted. In addition, many have concerns about liability related to the content posted. ...

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Comment Policies

How many agencies have started to look at social media use for their organization and have been stumped by one simple challenge - comments from the public? There have been many cases of agencies starting social media accounts that reversed their entry and...

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Information Released Before Being Officially Released

Law enforcement is trying to adapt. Trying to figure out the different facets of this thing we call social media. Some embrace it, some accept it, some fight it kicking and screaming. But the bottom line is ignoring it won’t make it go away. We are ...

Social Media Education in Basic Training

I am sure every police officer, no matter their age, fondly remembers attending their basic law enforcement training academy. Although the length of time varies for this training across the country and over the years, the general purpose remains constant....

Mitigating Organizational Resistance to Using Social Media

Change can be difficult for members of any organization. However, change inside police organizations can be even more stressful and difficult for their staffs. Chief Dan Alexander with the Boca Raton Police Department has said “There are two things ...

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Social Media Education

I arrived at the FBI Academy for the FBI LEEDS program on Sunday, January 22, 2012. As I looked at the upcoming training scheduled for the program, I was pleasantly surprised to see Nancy Kolb with the IACP scheduled to speak about social media. Nancy spo...

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I've Been Outed

Can you imagine the feeling I had when I opened up my computer while I was on vacation to find out that my secret was now all over my Twitter stream? Oh the horror of it all. I had gone to great lengths to distance myself from who I really was on lin...

Don't Just Have a Social Media Policy - Train on It!

We’ve been talking about the need for a social media policy for police employees for the better part of the past two years. At recent IACP conferences, workshops explaining the reasons and nuances of such a policy have been standing room only. For a...

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Understanding Hashtags and Social Media: A Lesson in What Not to Do

Today's guest blogger post comes from Constable Anne Longley, Social Media Officer for the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Police Department. One morning, when I opened up the @VancouverPD Twitter account, there were a few mentions of people askin...

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The Year That Has Been and a Look Ahead

Tracy Phillips posed the question here a couple of weeks ago, “Would I be exaggerating if I called 2011 the year for social media in law enforcement?” I answer to you Tracy, No. It’s not an exaggeration. I think back to late 2008 when...

The Year in Review

The Richmond Police Department will celebrate three years of social media use as of this month so it’s quite an appropriate time to reflect on the year’s social media efforts, what we’ve learned, and some highlights. We’ve defin...

2011: The Year for Social Media in Law Enforcement

Would I be exaggerating to call 2011 year of social media for law enforcement? Er, maybe but I don’t think so. Would I be overstating to say we’ve seen an “explosion” in law enforcement’s use of social media over the course o...

Policing Your Police on Social Media

Most of my blogs are about why we in law enforcement should use social media. But what I usually don’t touch upon is when those in law enforcement use their personal pages and say the wrong things. I’m writing about it today because I’ve...

IACP 2011 Conference Review

One of the great things about an event such as the 2011 IACP conference in Chicago is that it brings together a variety of people who have had such different experiences to share their knowledge. I feel incredibly fortunate that I could attend and learn s...

How to Respond When Your Department Posts Something That Offends

In my last post, we discussed how to respond when the public posts negative comments on your department’s social media sites. But what happens when the department posts material that is offensive to others? How could this happen? After all, most dep...

How Should Your Department Respond to Negative Comments?

The question about what to do when negative posts are made on your social media sites is a valid question. Although feared by many law enforcement professionals, negative comments are typically not posted as frequently as expected. However, it is importan...

Breaking News - Stop It!

One of the many benefits that social media has created in everyone’s day-to-day lives is the instantaneous ability to receive and report information. One of the newest trends that I have seen is media agencies using their social media accounts to an...

Be Careful What You Tweet... Or Who You Tweet As!

So you are the social media person for your agency. During the day you monitor tweets and Facebook postings. With dashboards like TweetDeck and HootSuite it’s easy to also add multiple accounts. So it comes as no surprise that over the last few mont...

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Agency Management and Officer Safety

A major responsibility of being a social network author on behalf of a police agency is having the ability to communicate professionally on behalf of the Chief and the entire department. As the Boise Police Department has written in our Social Networking ...

Social Media Management in Your Agency

The IACP Center for Social Media staff has been fortunate enough to travel all over the country to speak with law enforcement personnel about social media. Whether we are in New Jersey or Oregon or one of the many states in between, we hear different vers...

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Dealing with Inappropriate and Negative Comments - Part 2

The law is still catching up with the Internet so it's obviously still far behind trying to comprehend and figure out social media. That being said, having an official social media policy, like a police agency does for anything else, like use of force,...

Dealing with Inappropriate and Negative Comments - Part 1

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. You've heard the saying, but that's not always the case, especially online, where people sometimes feel they can say whatever they want with impunity because it's online and they can be anonymo...

Social Network Policies - Worth Having - Worth Training

In March, 2010, the Boise Police Department (BPD) adopted Special Order 10-05; Policy 11.06.00 Social Networking: Personal Online/Internet Content; a social networking (SN) policy for BPD employees. Policy 11.06.00 is meant to be proactive and educati...


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 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

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 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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