More police are on social media now than ever. In a survey by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, nearly 96 percent of the 500 law enforcement agencies surveyed use social media. I looked through a number of resources for police that are using social media, and put together this GovGirl video highlighting three prominent tools.
Tool #1: Twitter Alerts
The Twitter Alert service is available to law enforcement, emergency management and government agencies around the world. You can designate tweets as alerts and communicate critical information to the public as situations unfold. Citizens can opt in to receive alerts via tweets that feature an orange alert icon, push notifications via the Twitter app on their phone, or even by text message. Your agency must enroll to use this free service.
Tool #2: Social Mention
Another free tool is Social Mention. Cops can use this site for “situational awareness,” the passive use of social media that allows for the monitoring of public sentiment and concerns before and during emergencies. Enter your department’s name or hot issue, and you can learn what hashtags are hot and who the power users are in your area.
Tool #3: IACP Center for Social Media
This is a Web resource by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The site provides excellent advice, but my favorite feature is the directory of U.S. law enforcement agencies with the most Facebook likes. It’s not a popularity contest, but police can learn a lot by exploring the pages of agencies that have a very large following on social media – like the Brimfield, Ohio, Police Department, for example.
Please share any of your other favorite tools for police departments on social media in the comments below. Thanks for watching and staying on through the outtakes, as usual!