Social Media; Electronic Community Policing
Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)
In today’s world, social media is an ever-growing conduit between community members. Many groups, individuals, and companies are successfully utilizing various social media platforms to communicate with other users. Even with the prevalence and ease of communication that social media provides, many law enforcement agencies are hesitant to use it as a tool to communicate with their communities. However, with the successes in communication and interaction through the use of social media in many areas of society today, including many other police agencies, the use of social media should be a tool that is utilized by all law enforcement agencies. As community outreach and community interaction are a mainstay in community policing, so are they a mainstay in social media. There have been many examples of use of social media by law enforcement, ranging from crime prevention tips to helping solve crimes. However, fears remain about the use of personnel time and negative feedback that may be voiced for all to read on social media. Statistics show that there is actually a relatively small amount of time dedicated to maintaining social media interaction with the community. While negative feedback on social media sites does occasionally occur, through proper training of personnel and implementation of proper departmental policies and social media site guidelines, the ability to control responses and clarify mistruths through social media greatly decrease the negative images from that feedback.
Public Relations, Police--Community Relations, Social Media