Lauri Stevens

Highlights of #Poltwt – half way through

The second #poltwt is well underway with over 250 agency accounts and over 75 officers accounts as registered participants. We have representatives from South Africa, Kenya, Estonia, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Canada and United States. As I write this, registrations continue to come in. All will be noted on the #poltwt Google map as well as the official Twitter list.

#Poltwt Hang Outs to Watch
A Google Hangout hosted by Chief Inspector Kerry Blakeman of the West Midlands Police featuring Amanda Coleman of Greater Manchester Police and me was held earlier today. See it here:

At 3 p.m. Eastern, Constable Scott Mills and I will host a another with international guests to discuss the tweet-a-thon and social media in general.

Our #Poltwt Supporters
Our friends at BrightPlanet will be harvesting all the tweets and giving us the numerical details during #poltwt as well as a summary when its done. We would also like to welcome PublicEye, an iPad and Android based multifunctional law enforcement tool for police officers in the field.

BrightPlanet has the fastest, most powerful tools and services available to help you turn information into intelligence.

Available on all major mobile platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows 8. Please click the logo to learn more and register for a free webinar.

Global Police Tweet-a-thon, the sequel

Next Global Police Tweet-a-thon is November 1st!

History in the making
March 22nd of this year was an epic day for law enforcement. It was the day over 200 law enforcement agencies all across the western hemisphere took to Twitter for 24 hours or a portion thereof to tweet about their work. With the hashtag #poltwt, we trended from New Zealand west to Australia, across Europe and then from the east coast of North America  in a wave across to the west coast.

On November 1st, will make history one again. In March, we reached over 11M people with 48,842 tweets in 23 different languages. We hope to make the next #poltwt ever bigger.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, Nov 1st until 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov 2nd, in your local timezone, tweet any or all of the 24 hours.

The Objective
The overall purpose of the tweet-a-thon is to call attention to policing as well as to police use of social media. Each agency sets its own goals beyond that and tweets whatever portion of the 24 hours that works for you.

The only “rule” is that ever tweet contains the hashtag #poltwt

To sign up:

Email Lauri Stevens at

Use subject line: #poltwt

In the message, indicate your Twitter name, your agency name, your physical address (so we can accurately place you on the Google map). If you plan to tweet as an individual officer, give us all of the above and also let us know you’re tweeting as yourself. All emails should come from your government/police address.


Who’s SMILE’n in Omaha

With two weeks until the next SMILE Conference® in Omaha, this is a list of the police agencies and companies sending at least one person to the conference. The SMILE Conference is hosted by Chief Todd Schmaderer and the men and women of the Omaha Police Department. Our keynotes include Deputy Chief Peter Sloly of Toronto Police and Commissioner Peter Muyshondt of the Belgian Police. Our second day will focus on event management from floods to viral videos to line of duty deaths and our third day features presentations from all three of our finalists in the Social Media Investigator category of the ConnectedCOPS Awards.

We will also explore social media monitoring, engagement, strategy and reputation management. There’s still time to register. Get a discount code from any of our exhibitors or

  • Airbnb, Inc., CA
  • Arcadia Police Department, CA
  • Arlington PD, TX
  • Atlanta Police Department, GA
  • Aurora Police Department, NE
  • BAIR Analytics Inc.
  • Barrie Police Service, ON
  • Belgian Local Police, Belgium
  • Bellevue Police Department, NE
  • Bismarck Police Department, ND
  • Bismarck, ND, City of
  • Borders Limited, Nigeria
  • Boston College Police Department, MA
  • BrightPlanet, SD
  • Calgary Police Service, AB
  • Cape Coral Police Department, FL
  • Cobourg Police Service, ON
  • Crime Stoppers USA
  • Department of Justice/FBI, VA
  • Dover Police, DE
  • Geofeedia, Inc., IL
  • Hall County Sheriff’s Office, NE
  • Harris County Sheriff, TX
  • Helsinki Police Department, Finland
  • Houston Police, TX
  • IES Group/Media Sonar, ON
  • Iowa Department of Public Saftey- Division of Intelligence, IA
  • Iowa State University Police Department, IA
  • Johnson County Sheriff, KS
  • Kansas City Police Department, MO
  • La Vista Police Department, NE
  • LexisNexis
  • Longview Police Department, TX
  • Los Angeles Police Department, CA
  • Massachusetts State Police, MA
  • Milwaukee Police Department, WI
  • MusterPoint
  • NE Game & Parks/Law Enforcement, NE
  • Nebraska State Patrol, NE
  • New Castle County Police Department, DE
  • New Westminster Police Department, BC
  • Norfolk Police Department, VA
  • NYPD, Sergeants Benevolent Association, NY
  • Oakland County Sheriff, MI
  • O’Fallon Police Department, MO
  • Omaha Police Department, NE
  • Orange County Sheriff’s Office, FL
  • Peel Regional Police Service, ON
  • Peoria Police Department, AZ
  • Phoenix Police Department, AZ
  • Prince William County Police Department, VA
  • Real Time Crisis Intervetion
  • Regina Police Service, SK
  • Reykjavík Metropolitan Police, Iceland
  • Rhode Island State Police, RI
  • Round Rock Police Department, TX
  • San Mateo Police Department, CA
  • Tampa Police Department, FL
  • Tempe Police Department, AZ
  • Toronto Police Service, ON
  • Univ. of Nebraska – Lincoln Police, NE
  • Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, CA
  • Vermillion Police Department, SD
  • Waterloo Regional Police Service, ON
  • Winnipeg Police Service, MB
  • Winter Park Police Dept, FL
  • York Regional Police, ON

Some cops are just too darn funny

I get calls probably twice a month from a reporter doing a story on how their local police are using humor in social media. They usually want to ask some version of the question “Is that appropriate?” Just today CNN emailed about the Hillsboro, OR Police posting a humorous video to recruit a new Police Chief. While it continues to boggle my mind why people think police can’t or shouldn’t use humor, at least these reporter inquiries are better than the other two calls every month about how some police officer did something rather career threatening on social media, so I’m rolling with it.

The latest cop humor on Twitter comes from York Regional Police. (YRP) A tweet from @Sunith_DB8R this morning went out in Ontario asking for a drug deal in the Vaughan area. The tweet caught the eye of York Regional Police Corporate Communications Supervisor Stephanie Mackenzie-Smith who encouraged Police Constable Blair McQuillan to answer.

Mackenzie-Smith says the phones at YRP haven’t stopped ringing since. But it’s not the first time YRP has made news with Twitter. Last year, @brittvny tweeted about having been smoking pot when she then realized the YRP office at the mall was nearby. YRP had an answer for her too.

@SeattlePD is also a frequent funny tweeter:

In June, after SPD arrested a man for damaging a Norway Maple tree, they tweeted:

Some of the funniest bits come from @SolihullPolice in the UK. One of their most famous:

But some other fun tweets from Solihull PD:

If any of the above aren’t providing comedic relief when you tune in, you can count on @AbbyPoliceDept just about any day:

In the meantime, back in Ontario, Sunith spent the rest of the day tweeting that people shouldn’t take his tweets so seriously. But most signifcantly, he tweeted a thanks to YRP for “making him famous.”

ConnectedCOPS Awards 2013: Finalists for Excellence at a Large Agency

ConnectedCOPS Excellence at a Large Agency

This award is given to a law enforcement agency, anywhere in the world, of 151 sworn officers or more that has demonstrated overall excellence in the use of social media to enhance its services to the public. The agency exhibits leadership, creativity and innovation in its use of social media to engage, educate, recruit, and etc. The agency has a broad and deep understanding of social media use and applies sound governance and strategy in its social media operations. The agency also promotes the use of social networking in law enforcement through its outreach to colleagues and by mentoring others.

We have three finalists and they are:

Reykjavik Police, Iceland
Since it was founded in 2007 the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police (RMP) has worked to enhance the security and feeling of security among those who live, work or stay in the metropolitan area. To achieve this objective the RMP has focused on increasing the visibility of the police, increased information sharing and building a proactive community partnership. The RMP tapped social media at the end of 2010 and is rapidly accomplishing these goals as a result. With over 42,000 Facebook subscribers the RMP is connected to 20% of the population it serves. The RMP also makes very creative use of Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and YouTube.

Saanich Police, British Columbia, Canada
The Saanich Police Department (SPD) believes that the true essence of community engagement via social media is accomplished by empowering its agency’s members. The department’s newly established social media policy provides the ability for all agency members to reach the community. SPD supports and encourages specific units within the agency to engage on a personal level. SPD credits its social media program for ensuring that its messaging and community engagement activities are delivered in a clear, timely and responsible manner. With creativity and innovation the SPD has become a global leader with its use of social media.

Cape Coral Police, Florida, United States
Social Media is a major component of the Cape Coral Police Department’s (CCPD) Community Engagement Program. In order to achieve fundamental transformation and a significant shift in the direction that the Department was moving, the CCPD used a two-pronged approach. First, CCPD took back control of its presence on the web from a central city webmaster and went in a completely different direction. CCPD created a new website built around a blogging engine and tightly integrated with social media and optimized for searchability. The focus was on rich media, compelling content, useful information, and 2-way communication with citizens. Second, The CCPD Social Media Program focused on key social networks in order to maximize the reach of the agency’s message. The CCPD has focused on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube to achieve its goals and become world leaders in police us of social media.

Winners will be announced September 25th at the SMILE Conference™ in Omaha, Nebraska.

Previously announced finalists:

The ConnectedCOPS Awards were created by LAwS Communications with the intent of recognizing the good work being done by individual officers and law enforcement agencies with social media. The international law enforcement community will be considered for these awards. Any officer or agency anywhere in the world is eligible.

ConnectedCOPS Awards 2013: Finalists for Top Cop Award

ConnectedCOPS Top Cop

This award is given to the sworn law enforcement executive of the rank of LT (or its international equivalent) and above, at any worldwide law enforcement agency who has demonstrated significant and sustained executive leadership to further the use of social media and Internet technologies in law enforcement. This individual is a risk-taker and a pioneer in his or her promotion and use of social media in policing. The recipient of the Top Cop Award also gives his thought leadership and expertise freely to others.

The three finalists are:

Chief Brian Kyes, Chelsea, Ma Police
Because of Chief Kyes’ tireless devotion and commitment, and in a very short amount of time, the Chelsea Police Department has developed a strong presence in social media. The Chelsea Police Department launched a brand new multi-lingual web site. The site offers a lot of information for the public to access with a blog, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and the Chief’s Weekly. Chief Kyes always stresses the need to acknowledge the diversity of the city and build a program where citizens could become more engaged with public safety and related events.

Deputy Chief Peter Sloly, Toronto Police
Because he was so quick to see the benefits of implementing social media into police operations, Deputy Chief Sloly was among the earliest of adopters of open source technology into law enforcement. Three years into the Force’s Social Media Strategy, over 300 members have been trained and authorized to represent TPS in social media. Deputy Sloly’s approach has been to decentralize social communications. His colleagues and subordinates will say they believe his approach is saving lives. Deputy Sloly is constantly called upon to share his knowledge at police and social media conferences, which he does regularly.

Inspector Michael Brown, West Midlands Police, UK
Inspector Brown is widely known and recognized for his work in mental health policing. His work, especially his “Paramedic Series” of posts on his blog Mental Health Cop has educated police officers, their agencies and others internationally. Inspector Brown freely gives of his time and expertise to mentor his colleagues at hospitals, ambulances services, mental health units as well as patients.

Finalists in the other awards categories have been announced throughout this week on this blog. Check back to see the finalists for the Excellence at a Large Agency Award tomorrow. Winners will be announced September 25th at the SMILE Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.

The ConnectedCOPS Awards were created by LAwS Communications with the intent of recognizing the good work being done by individual officers and law enforcement agencies with social media. The international law enforcement community will be considered for these awards. Any officer or agency anywhere in the world is eligible.

ConncectedCOPS Awards 2013: Finalists for Social Media Campaign

ConnectedCOPS Social Media Campaign

This award will go to the law enforcement agency which has met its stated goals with a documented social media campaign. The campaign is designed to address a significant problem or educational issue within the agency’s jurisdiction. Nominations should include a description of how success was measured.

The finalists in the Social Media in Campaign Management category have proactively and strategically designed a campaign with social media having a significant part. They have carried out the plan and achieved the goals set forth.

There are three finalists in this category:

North Yorkshire Police, United Kingdom
The North Yorkshire Police (NYP) were nominated for their success with two separate social media campaigns. With its #TeamNYP campaign, the NYP grew its engagement with citizens significantly. The plan was strategically combined with traditional communication methods to draw more views to the force’s website and other content. A key piece of the project was the redesign of the home page of the force website featuring live social media content. With a separate campaign focused on mobile technology and a goal of reducing burglaries, the NYP created an iBook campaign for iPad users. The iBook is called “Securing your home” and features chapters on bogus callers, burglary prevention, property marking, vehicle security and rural crime. The project was such a success that more iBooks are forthcoming and several other UK forces are looking to the NYP for their leadership.

Waterloo Regional Police, Ontario, Canada
With a goal of engaging youth, building awareness and stimulating dialogue surrounding gang prevention, the Waterloo Regional Police (WRPS) created the “8 Days of SWAG” social media campaign. The campaign and its social media profiles were deliberately branded separate from the Waterloo Regional Police Service based on a perceived notion that if youth knew who would be hosting the campaign, they would be less likely to participate. Each day was assigned a theme, as a way to organize the broad topic of “gangs” and prizes were awarded every day. By the end of the 8 Days of SWAG campaign, the WRPS had engaged over 650 participants which in turn reached more than 83 thousand Twitter accounts. On Facebook, they reached over 5,400 people, of which 68% were between ages of 13 and 24. WRPS received numerous requests from students, asking them to visit their school, as well as requests to continue the campaign next year.

Collier County Sheriff, Florida, United States
In November 2012, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) launched an ambitious multi-faceted public safety campaign aimed at bringing about a law that would make it illegal to text-message while driving in Florida. “Stop Texting & Driving” was a community-based, grass roots movement to address the growing demand for Florida to join the 39 states that have declared it illegal for drivers to text behind the wheel. Through their website, PSA’s and social media, citizens were asked to sign a call to action in support of anti-texting legislation. The Sheriff also invited community members to share their texting and driving experiences on the CSCO social media platforms. More than 150 people posted messages, many of which were heartbreaking, about how their lives had been affected by someone who was text-messaging while driving. Most significantly, Gov Rick Scott signed legislations on May 28th that makes it illegal to text-message while driving in Florida.

Finalists in the other awards categories will be announced throughout this week on this blog. Check back to see the finalists for Top Cop tomorrow. Winners will be announced September 25th at The SMILE Conference™ in Omaha, Nebraska.

Finalists previously announced:

The ConnectedCOPS Awards were created by LAwS Communications with the intent of recognizing the good work being done by individual officers and law enforcement agencies with social media. The international law enforcement community will be considered for these awards. Any officer or agency anywhere in the world is eligible.

ConnectedCOPS Awards 2013: Finalists for Leadership Award

ConnectedCOPS Leadership Award

This award is given to an officer up to and including the rank of Sergeant (or its international equivalent) at any worldwide law enforcement agency who has singularly demonstrated exemplary and selfless leadership in the use of social media to improve public safety and/or enhance his or her agency’s community engagement and reputation. This individual is creative, innovative and fearless and shares what s/he knows by mentoring others, participating in public speaking opportunities and leading by example.

The finalists in the Leadership are risk takers. In most cases, these are the officers who have lead the way for their agency to become a social agency. They have overcome the many obstacles that often present themselves along the way. This category is one of the most competitive in the awards program. The finalists are all true leaders of their profession. Each one of them personifies the true spirit of this award.

There are three finalists in this category:

Officer Ryan Grelle, Denton, TX Police
Officer Grelle is one of Texas’ strongest proponents of social media in law enforcement. He not only has lead his own agency to social media prowess, but serves as a mentor and role model to others in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond. Officer Grelle also took the reigns to recruit dozens of U.S. police departments to participate in the first Global Police Tweet-a-thon which eventually included over 200 agencies around the world.

Sergeant Christopher Cook, Arlington, TX Police
Sergeant Cook has lead the Arlington Police Department social media program for the past two years. In that time he has taken the department from having only a very small Facebook existence to being a social media powerhouse fully integrating Twitter, YouTube, Nixle a weekly news video and growing the APD Facebook presence tens time over. Cook has a keen understanding of the importance of good content and citizen engagement and instills those beliefs in staff members.

Deputy James Hart, Sacramento County Sheriff
In eight months Deputy Hart has brought his Sheriff’s Office from the “dark ages” of paper press release, wanted and missing persons posters to one that fully integrates social media. His work has transformed the way the department serves and engages the community. Hart has used social media to solve unsolved crimes, reunite missing people with their families and inform citizens about crime occurring, major incidents, recruitment opportunities and what it would be like to be a Deputy Sheriff.

Finalists in the other awards categories will be announced throughout this week on this blog. Check back to see the finalists for the Social Media Campaign Award tomorrow. Winners will be announced September 25th at The SMILE Conference™ in Omaha, Nebraska.

Finalists previously announced:

The ConnectedCOPS Awards were created by LAwS Communications with the intent of recognizing the good work being done by individual officers and law enforcement agencies with social media. The international law enforcement community will be considered for these awards. Any officer or agency anywhere in the world is eligible.