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Social Media Helps Fight Crime

by Lori Taylor · 0 comments

social media marketingLaw enforcement agencies around the nation are frequently turning to social networking sites to improve relations with the communities they serve. Whether it is police departments using Twitter to send out public safety messages or local fire fighters Tweeting about fire safety issues there are an assortments of ways that social media can make our real world communities a safer place for all of us.
Social media is also being used by the media outlets of a community. Whether they are announcing road closures or information about hazardous weather, social media is the outlet they are using to their message across.

Law enforcement agencies around the country are increasingly reaching out to the public through social networking tools. But navigating cyberspace poses new challenges for cops—and the reporters who cover them.

If the nation’s law enforcement agencies are not using social media networking, they’re missing out “big time” on a key tool for connecting with the public and the press, one of the nation’s top police experts warned yesterday.

“Either listen in and join the conversation, or they get to talk about you behind your back,” said Capt. Mike Parker, who heads the media and marketing efforts of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department―the largest sheriff’s department in the world.

Parker was addressing a unique roundtable attended by over 40 New Jersey law enforcement officials and journalists held at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

The special event, hosted by John Jay’s Center on Media, Crime and Justice (one of the founding partners of The Crime Report) and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, was aimed at helping police and journalists navigate the brave new world of 24/7 crime news coverage in the “Age of Twitter.” The conference was co-sponsored by American Police Beat magazine.

Social media has drastically changed the landscape for law enforcement and the media who cover them, observed Nancy Kolb, senior program manager for Community Safety Initiatives at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), which recently established a Center on Social Media to assist law enforcement agencies in establishing policy guidelines for the use of social networking tools.

Click here to read the entire article.

Lori Taylor

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