Expanding the Use of Social Media in Law Enforcement Agencies




Pickering, Dennis

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Law enforcement agencies have not been utilizing social media to its full capacity. A majority of adults utilize social media on a day-to-day basis (Pew Research Center, 2016), which gives agencies a large number of constituents they can reach on social media. While law enforcement agencies have started to delve into the world of social media, many agencies are not utilizing social media to its fullest capacity. Law enforcement agencies should utilize social media to its full capacity in order to further goals and interests of the department. One of the ways agencies can improve would be utilizing social media to aid in investigations by reaching out for public help in identifying subjects. Agencies can also shape their public relations message better by having an active social media presence where citizens can interact with their local departments any time they have an internet connection. Finally, departments can save costs on recruitment and better target recruiting messages to a wider audience with successful social media strategies. Law enforcement agencies need to create departmental policies for their agency, train the individuals who will be responsible for using the departments social media, and then start engaging the public and utilize social media to its fullest capacity.


Police--Community Relations, Police and Mass Media, Social Media