Law Enforcement and Social Media




Kjergaard, Irene

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Everyday there is something new to be found on the internet. There are new sites, videos, photographs, and even articles. These days, the internet is where the public goes to get their information. Printed publications such as newspapers and magazines will soon be a thing of the past. Those publications can now be found online as well. In order to keep up with these changing times, law enforcement agencies need to be where the public can be reached faster and by more people. Law enforcement agencies should develop and maintain a presence on social media sites. Social media sites should be thought of as tools. The sites can be used to educate the public. They can also be used to disseminate emergency information or notify the public of upcoming events. They can highlight things going on within the department or recognize employees. Social media sites can be a great way to increase positive interactions with the citizens. There are those who have concerns about the information being put out by law enforcement agencies. They believe that information put out may affect the outcome of an on-going investigation. There are still others who believe their 4th Amendment rights are being violated. They do not realize that they no longer have an expectation of privacy once they post to a social media site. Some agencies may still be hesitant to use social media, but it is what the agency makes of it. They can publish the facts or they can publish the facts while also publishing thoughts, ideas, questions, or concerns. Social media is the new way to interact with the community and that is why agencies should develop and maintain sites to interact with their public.



Police- community relations, Police and mass media, Social media