Social Media in Law Enforcement




McCoy, Michael

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Across the country, law enforcement agencies have begun to embrace social media to engage with the community online. They have shown a significant impact on their community regarding transparency, relationships, crime alerts, notable weather events, traffic issues, and even humor, to name a few. It is a cost-effective tool to drive the department’s message, dispel rumors, and engage with the community they serve on a more personal level. Law enforcement agencies should implement all social media platforms. However, some departments still refuse to enter social media due to a lack of knowledge, personnel, and funds. Some departments may feel that it is time consuming and not worth the effort. Law enforcement agencies have an opportunity to drive the correct narrative when it comes to factual and non-factual news regarding their police department. Social media is beneficial for citizen interaction on many levels. Still, it’s important to note that a truly engaging social media platform will bring the community together in a time of need. Posting on social media, if done correctly, is a cost-effective tool to garner “buy-in” from your community. All law enforcement agencies need to start by creating a social media presence for their agency, train the individuals responsible for using the departments’ social media, and then start engaging the public and utilizing social media to maximize the goals and wants of their department. Not only will the police department benefit, but the community will benefit as well.



Public Relations, Police--Community Relations, Social Media