Internet Use and Police Work: Keeping Up with the Times




Alexander, Janet S.

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Law enforcement agencies that do not take advantage of the benefits that come with the use of the internet and social media are doing their community members a dis-service and could be slowing down officer productivity. The use of social media sites can provide law enforcement agencies a free tool to seek the public’s assistance in solving crimes by asking for information that can help with identifying crime suspects. Social media sites can also provide an avenue for agencies to post public service announcements as well as provide transparency in the departments functions. Law enforcement agencies that use the internet and have their own web sites can offer many on line services. These services can include things like easier options for citizens to file reports, request police services, check crime statistics and ask questions. Offering these services on line can allow police officers more time to be proactive in their patrols instead of being busy with low priority calls where a simple report is all that is needed. Law enforcement agencies that do not utilize these alternative methods for taking reports and providing community members an option for requesting police services are essentially slowing officer productivity.


Police and Mass media, Police-community relations