Twitter – I still can’t get over how stupid that sounds – has virtually become a household name and it’s use by law enforcement is growing quickly. But as a chief, it surprises me when I read blog posts and comments on other police websites that describe how a number of administrators refuse to explore what Twitter has to offer their agency. Of course, I am about 20 years younger than the average chief.
I wonder what those same police chiefs are doing to maintain good public relations and build trust with their citizens? I certainly hope they’re doing something besides maintaining the status quo.
Read more on my blog.
Twitter – sounds funny and what of real value can be said in 140 charactors or less. Its amazing. Quick notes about flooding in Fargo ND that brought people together to warning of traffic jam to huge projects like pandemic flu preparation and blood drives produce results.
That 20 to 30 year older Chief might remeber the days when people intereacted with sworn officer. When police intereaction was the human interst story instead of the breaking headline.
For what it is worth people like to organize and classify things. Create an image or one will be created for you. It would be bad to sweep bad image under the carpet. The police chase, “don’t tase me bro” or traffic stop just ouside hospital for running a stop sign. It would be good to counter all that with some good images. The police are here to do more than write tickets.
Brandon – how do you think the force wants to be seen or judged? (daunting question but as Gandhi said “be the change or thing you wish to see in the world” and I can not put it any better)
I think, and I share, the fear that when there are “new” things, we just don’t know what it does, but also that we don’t know what world of things might go wrong with it, and it is that unknown that holds people back. Our leaders want to have the time, but often lack sufficient motivation, to check everything out first and be familiar with stuff and what could go wrong. The value that youth brings is that “trust” factor – younger folks have grown up with the internet and social networking and despite hacking and viruses, have learned that there are plenty of things that work and have significant benefits.
I think letting people read plenty of good reviews — touting the benefits, ease of use, lack of problems, and acknowledging any drawbacks is one step towards helping the technophobic…
And then actually testing/using/playing with new stuff helps too.
I applaud you for breaking the barriers – especially in police “culture” you will surely continue to meet resistance, and it will all work better in some locations than others – but keep at it, and don’t get discouraged. Good luck and best wishes to you!
Allen – I think the force, in general, wants to be seen as a group of professional men and women who represent safety and integrity. I cannot speak for every officer out there, but I know how I feel and how my officers feel – we don’t want to be judged based on the negative perceptions created by a few. That is why I’m an advocate of good public relations and disseminating as much information as possible – good and bad.