Lowering local crime rates is the goal of every law enforcement agency, but it’s not an easy goal to achieve. Local police departments create crime tip phone lines; however, calling isn’t always the best option to report crimes. And in this more digital world, many citizens prefer to use channels they’re already using. For this reason, Stearns County Sheriff’s department decided to use the power of email to increase citizen engagement.
Stearns County Sheriff’s implemented new digital communication strategies in order to increase crime tips from the community and increase the number of citizens communicating with the Sheriff’s office.
Stearns County Sheriff’s Office was looking for a way to strengthen communication between the department and the community. Its overall objective was to reduce crime by offering the community more ways to provide timely information to aid in the efficient prevention and solving of crimes. According to MarketingProfs, 88 percent of marketers believe that email provides a substantial ROI – and because of high success rates like these – Stearns County Sheriff’s office decided that email was its best bet in lowering crime rates with communications.
Strategies for Improved Communication
To reach the objectives set forth by the sheriff’s department, GovDelivery worked out a few digital communication strategies. By using a combination of SMS/text messaging and emails, GovDelivery projected that Stearns Country could:
- expand its outreach;
- increase its visibility;
- grow its audience;
- and empower citizens.
To assist the department in reaching these objectives, GovDelivery designed an email template that was mobile-optimized and user-friendly. This email template consistently reminded citizens that they could and should submit a tip every time they received an email from the Sheriff’s Office. It also enabled citizens to quickly submit tips instead of calling in or reporting the tips in person.
After implementing the plan set forth by GovDelivery, Stearns County Sheriff’s Office saw an increase in the number of tips submitted by 533%! The majority of tips were coming from email (57%) as opposed to social media (2%) or phone calls (16%).*
Email and SMS/text message marketing are powerful tools to help government organizations reach their mission goals. Other significant findings from Stearns County Sheriff’s Office use of digital communications to achieve its crime reduction goals are summarized in the Stearns County: Power of Email Infographic, available for download here.
*Total tips does not account for tips submitted directly to detectives or submitted via phone to a source that was not tracked.
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