How Law Enforcement Can Better Control Their Message Using Social Media!

social media and law enforcement

Law enforcement has basically been at the mercy of the news media. Whether issuing press releases, responding to a high profile case, or requesting help from citizens in a missing person case the police were (are) at the behest of the media to communicate there message.

Social media offers alternative options for law enforcement agencies to take control of their communication and messaging. Facebook fan pages, Twitter, blogs, iPhone apps, podcasting, YouTube, are just a few social media channels that allow law enforcement to call the shots on their messaging. There is a shift in control when law enforcement can offensively deploy a press release to Twitter or Facebook for the general public, which includes the press agencies. Press conferences can be pre-determined through simple video podcasting efforts with editing prior to release and posting to agencies websites, blogs, or YouTube for release to the world wide web. Best of all these communications options are very inexpensive.

The premise is law enforcement no longer has to rely on the media for press coverage. They can take control of their messaging and reach a larger audience. One law enforcement agency that has taken the leap by issuing press release through social media sites only is the Boca Raton Police Department. The media responded to the Boca Raton PD by running a mostly negative news spot, but they have now become use to obtaining press releases through Facebook and Twitter.

Social media offers law enforcement alternatives on getting their message out, which will allow them to control investigations better, keep better public relations, and so on. Mike Vallez

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Stephen Peteritas

As a former news person, I would have loved it, and the the CIO at the police station would have loved it if we didn’t have to continuously bother each other for stuff and it could all be found online in a timely manner.

Michael Vallez

Agreed, much easier flow of communication simple streamlined system. At first I can understand a possible animosity that the press is being taken out of the equation, but they really are not. Law enforcement just gets a chance to better control their messaging. Thanks for the comment.

Attia Nasar

This is really neat! Do you know any law enforcement agencies around the D.C. area that utilize social media?

Michael Vallez

Actually, not off hand. When I was at the Social Media and Law Enforcement conference (SMILE) in April 2010 there were some Washington D.C. Metro Transit police in attendance. I feel that social media will soon be growing in law enforcement. The federal government is very progressive in social media, check out the Department of Justice.

Attia Nasar

Thanks! I am interested in doing further research on this topic, so I appreciate your help. I will check out the DoJ.