Police agency adoption of social media as related to agency size, community-oriented policing, and technological capacity



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This thesis uses LEMAS data and an original data collection to examine the relationship between the adoption of Twitter and Facebook by municipal police departments and the characteristics of those departments. These characteristics include the size of the department, progressiveness, community-oriented policing, and technological capacity. It was found that that these variables were associated with statistically significant increases in the amount of time a department had Twitter. All variables were also significant to varying degrees for lengthening the amount of time a department was on Facebook, except for community-orientation. These results appear to indicate that social media adoption by law enforcement follows a diffusion of innovations model. Directions for future research are discussed.



Law Enforcement, Facebook, Twitter, Social Media, Community-oriented Policing, Diffusion of Innovations