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.

ET Phone Home: Smartphones and crime prevention

Image Courtesy purplelime http://www.flickr.com/photos/purplelime

One of the downsides about any form of new technology is that it is inevitably expensive and attractive to thieves.

Over the years, burglars have focused on Video Recorders, DVD players and, now, Flatscreen TVs. Car thieves have moved from car radios via CD players on to SatNavs, although even those are no longer of sufficient value to interest most opportunists.

In the same way, the advent of mobile phones has been responsible for a sharp increase in the number of muggings, mainly with young people as both perpetrators and victims. This particular crimewave has been revitalised over the last couple of years by the launch of expensive smartphones such as the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy etc. These, along with Tablet computers, retain very high re-sale value and are therefore very robber-friendly.

What got me thinking about this was a helpful conversation I had on the tube earlier this week with a British Transport Police Officer who was kind enough to give me a heads up about using my netbook in such a public place. He told me there had been quite a lot of laptops and iPads snatched on the underground network over the last few weeks. When you’re typing away with your eyes focused on the screen, your peripheral vision and general situational awareness is very low and you make an ideal victim. It’s pretty straightforward for a bunch of ne’er-do-wells to snatch your prized possession out of your hands just before the doors close.

I’ve posted before on this blog on how technology and the advent of social media have been swiftly adopted and adapted both by police services and the criminals they seek to apprehend.

The Fingerprint Branch at New Scotland Yard was created in July 1901 using the Henry System of Fingerprint Classification and it wasn’t long before burglars started wearing gloves. More recently, last August’s rioters outflanked police by their use of the Blackberry Messaging Service whilst police routinely use Facebook to investigate criminal connections and track down those wanted for questioning.

Just as police and criminals adapt, so do technology manufacturers. My British Transport friend told me that he and his colleagues had recently come to the aid of a furious and distraught passenger who had had his iPhone snatched a few stops further down the line. Using the officer’s own iPhone they logged into the victim’s iTunes account and located his phone via the “Find my iPhone” app which he had installed for free.

Sure enough, when they visited the address an hour later, they were able to both recover the phone and make an arrest.

“Find my iPhone” also allows users to remotely lock the phone or wipe it’s data.

I’m hoping that the iPhone5 will take technological crime prevention to the next level.

I’m expecting it to scan any new user’s retina to confirm it has been stolen, and then report the crime itself (by e-mail, text or Twitter), complete with a photo of the thief and current GPS details.

5 Reasons the Army is issuing iPhone and Android Smartphones to Troops

social media and law enforcementThe Army budget morphs that of individual law enforcement agencies, but thinking outside the box seems to be consistent on the battle field. The US Army is going to equip their field soldiers on the front lines with iPhones and or Android mobile device as soon as the Spring of 2011. I originally saw an article on www.digitaltrends.com and tracked the original information to the www.armytimes.com website. As a mobile device evangelist, enthusiast, I find the Army’s action to be an obvious technology progression of both physical mobile devices and web 2.0 technologies. Below are 5 reasons why the Army is issuing mobile devices to troops.

social media and law enforcement

1)Portability- Mobile devices are small enough to slip into a pants pocket, jacket pocket, ruck sack, duffle bag, etc.

2) Powerful- Smartphone’s have become mini laptops in the last year or so and upcoming generations of these devices will boast duo core processors, increased graphics, more HD video capture models and overall more power.

3) Real Time Intelligence- At war smart phones would let soldiers view real-time intelligence and video from unmanned systems overhead. Drones would be able to provide intelligence to field personnel via smartphone. While this certainly already occurs with laptops, laptops are unreasonable to carry individually.

social media and law enforcement

4) Real Time Maps- Track friends and enemies on dynamic maps, this could certainly be life saving.

5) Real Time Information- Soldiers will have the opportunity to use network searches, email, MMS, and get information real time while in critical situations, through individual mobile devices.

My first thought was how are the soldiers going to access a network? Not to worry, the Army has already been working on this with basically a portable or mobile cell tower that would provide soldiers a mobile network in battlefield situations. There really is no argument why this is not a brilliant move by the Army to equip their troops with more information. Does law enforcement see the same benefit as the Army does from mobile devices? I think issuing police officers iPhone and or Android smartphone’s is also a no brainer, what do you think?

This blog post original appeared on 12/19/10 Social Media Five-O by Michael F. Vallez

PoliceOne iPhone App Review-Nice Mobile Police News App

social media and law enforcement

PoliceOne.com is one of my favorite law enforcement websites for police news, blogs, and product reviews. PoliceOne, which is also a Smile Conference sponsor has recently come out with an iPhone app. Their iPhone app is a very nice compliment to their website.

social media and law enforcement social media and law enforcement

The PoliceOne iPhone app opens up to a main or home screen and has a bottom navigation bar with home, news, photos, columns, and tips navigation tabs. The news tab will keep you up to date with the most recent and most popular news articles that have been posted on the PoliceOne website. The Photos section provides a picture with a brief story surrounding each image. The column section is the most in depth allowing users to browse by recent columns or columnists. Lastly, there is a tips tab that provides a potpourri of critical information to help law enforcement officers across the board.

The PoliceOne.com iPhone app is a nice resource for getting the latest police news on the go. The apps functionality is good to great, but it does leave out a few things that I feel would make this iPhone app awesome. Namely, the ability to share articles, pictures, and tips through Facebook, Twitter, and or email. This feature would not only allow PoliceOne getting to get there content in front of a larger audience, but this also allows the user to share content with friends, co-workers, etc. Another great addition to this app would be the inclusion of all the blogs that can be found on the main website. Overall, I give this app a 4.0 out of 5.0 stars and think you will like this iPhone app if you are interested in police news & tips. If you have any questions about this iPhone app or any iPhone/iPad apps please leave a comment or email me at mfvallez@gmail.com.

Top Rated iPhone Apps for Cops, and the rest of us- You Will Want These!

Being a retired police officer and and iPhone aficionado I always find myself thinking how apps could have helped me do my job better as a cop. As a police officer you are constantly presented with new situations to have to investigate and hence the need for information. There are also times when communicating documents, evidence, etc would be awesome other than by voice only. First aid is another area that can be taught to police, but ultimately there are so many medical situations a portable reference guide would be great. And what about a mobile “Swiss Army Knife?” Below I showcase 4 Top Rated iPhone Apps for Cops!

Title: Google Mobile Cost: FREE Category: Reference Developer: Google

iphone app reviews

Probably one of the best tools a cop could have on their mobile phone is Google Mobile. You can search by voice, type in your desired search parameters and experience the very best search results on earth. Specifically, these results are targeted geographically, which is even more relevant for police. There are additionally, a bunch of Google services in the app like Gmail, Google Docs, etc..

All in 1 ToolKit ProCost: $0.99 Category: Business Developer: Kdan Mobile Software

iphone app reviews

An application that is super useful now as it would be for any road warrior (cops included) is the All In 1 Tool Kit Pro. There are 31 different single programs in one combined application. Spell checker, unit converter, language translator, zip code finder, tip calculator, find my location, and best of all “police sound” complete with blue and red flashing lights (awesome). There is plenty more to this tool too numerous to list in this review.

Pocket Scanner – Documents on the go Cost: $0.99 Category: Business Developer: Kdan Mobile Software

iphone app reviews


Communicating information, specifically documents on the fly can be a critical part of a law enforcement investigation. This application allows you to take images off your current from your phones library or from a new image capture. You can enhance your images, lock them, and email them effortlessly. There is much more to this mobile tool than meets the eye and that has been explained in this review. A must have for field officers who stumble upon a document intensive investigation or just want to compare a drivers license.

Title: SAS Survival Guide Cost: $6.99 Category: Lifestyle Developer: Trellisys.net

iphone app reviews

The SAS Survival Guide application is one of the best tools you can have on your smartphone as a first responder. There are multiple features in this application specifically for critical incidents such as terrorism that may occur in urban areas. While not all law enforcement officers work in urban areas is also information regarding rural areas. The most important part of this application is the first aid information. There is a tremendous amount of first aid information for first responders.

These are but a few Top Rated iPhone Apps that you will find in the iTunes Store. CM

Check out all CrazyMikesapps articles at http://www.crazymikesapps.com

SMILE: Chief Billy Grogan’s Perspective

The Dunwoody (GA) Police Department began operations on April 1, 2009. On April 2, 2009, we created our Twitter account and began tweeting. We really needed a way to quickly connect with our community and Twitter provided that platform. Once we made it past the busywork of the start-up, we created a Facebook fan page for the department as well. Both Twitter and Facebook are being used to educate the public and get the word out about the good things happening within our department.

However, I felt something was missing. I had a number of questions about using social media in law enforcement and very few answers. I received an email about an upcoming conference which seemed to be an answer to my prayers. Social Media in Law Enforcement, Using Social Media to Improve Law Enforcement and Engage Citizens seemed like the perfect conference for me. I quickly signed up and brought Sergeant Carlson, who is in charge of our Community Outreach Unit, with me as well.

The SMILE Conference was all that I expected and more. We attended the LAwS Academy the first day and the conference itself for the next two days. Each day was jam packed with excellent speakers, from all over the world, which covered a variety of social media topics of importance. The topics covered included Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, Ning, social media monitoring, branding, podcasting, crime prevention, investigations, system integrations, adapting to the new media era and the future of social media to name a few. Each speaker was knowledgeable, provided great content and was able to engage their audience in meaningful conversations.

One of the highlights of the conference was a town hall meeting held one evening. Several of the speakers formed a panel and answered questions from participants at the conference. This was a great opportunity to discuss topics that were either not listed on the agenda for the conference or to discuss a topic that was listed more thoroughly.

Indeed, The SMILE Conference provided the answers to my questions and really filled in the missing pieces of the social media puzzle. I learned a great deal of specific, technical information about certain programs which will help me tremendously. However, there were three broad concepts which, I believe, will be the most beneficial.

The first is you need to have a plan when you get your department involved in social media. Unfortunately, when we first started using social media with the Dunwoody Police Department, we had no plan. After listening to all of the excellent speakers, I now understand the importance of having a plan and we will develop ours in the near future.

The second is you must have a social media policy. As of right now, my department does not have a social media policy. This will definitely be a priority prior to expanding our social media footprint in the future.

The last important concept I took away from the SMILE conference is you can’t do everything in social media. You should pick the social media programs that will be the most useful for your department and your community and use them. You do not have to do it all. This was a relief for me because I really felt overwhelmed by the large number of social media applications available and I struggled to identify the right ones for our department.

While at the conference, I tweeted about a program we are using at our department which has an iPhone application with it. One of the major metro Atlanta television stations, who follow us on Twitter, now wants to do a story about our program. This positive story would not have been picked up if it wasn’t for Twitter.

The SMILE Conference was a great benefit to me and my agency and the ideas I took away from the conference will light the way for my agencies future direction in social media. In addition, networking with leading thinkers and users of social media in law enforcement and outside law enforcement was especially helpful. I know that I am not alone and now I know who I can contact for help.

Chief Billy Grogan

Billy Grogan is the Chief of Police in Dunwoody, GA. Chief Grogan is committed to the concept of Community Policing as a way to connect with the community in a meaningful way to combat crime and disorder and improve the quality of life for the visitors and citizens of Dunwoody. He attended The SMILE Conference in Washington, D.C. and offers this (unsolicited) perspective.

Military iPhone apps have potential as policing tool

The tagline for the iPhone application store – “there’s an app for that” – brags there’s an app for everything. And it’s mostly true, with apps capable of many things, from updating Twitter and Facebook to managing your household finances and finding a good restaurant. Now even military operations can be added to the list.

Ratheon's "One Force Tracker" iPhone app

Raytheon has developed a series of iPhone applications to support military unit situational awareness by allowing soldiers to transmit data and photos over secure communications and call up real time maps to track field operations.

But why should this software be limited to the battlefield? I see great potential for first responders, uniformed patrols, S.W.A.T. teams and surveillance units to increase their capabilities by tapping into the potential of the iPhone, a device many officers already know and use.

Consider this scenario: A 10-officer team is staking out a group of suspects from several locations. Using only their cell phones, the supervisor and team can observe each others’ movements, simultaneously communicate via text message, and access a map of an entire building as suspects move to enter it. By leveraging the social aspect of these new applications, an officer can be part of the force from wherever he or she is located, delivering and receiving real-time data about the team’s position and status while they’re in the field.

In the government sector, use of certain applications is already taking off. Cities like New York and San Francisco are working with developers to create applications to better communicate with citizens about anything from accessing public transit schedules to getting tips on crime.

Law enforcement needs to join the application revolution by driving demand for innovative applications that make us even more effective at our jobs. As mobile technology continues developing and law enforcement becomes comfortable with smaller, more capable devices, applications can become an extraordinary policing tool for anything from crowd control to special enforcement ops.

We can’t allow our satisfaction with the status quo to limit our capabilities – or our imaginations.