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What is your stance on social media?

A post-doctoral research study on law enforcement and social media

Which police officer wouldn’t want social media? We only need to read through this blog to come across example after example of how social media benefit police practices: from relationship building with communities to garnering citizen support in investigations to new ways to inform or collect evidence. Still, I realized this is not a rhetorical question.

In the last two years, my colleagues in the COMPOSITE project and I conducted hundreds of interviews with police officers throughout Europe, amongst other things about their attitudes towards social media – and we were surprised by the variation in attitudes, acceptance, and ultimately extent of usage we found across police officers. Many were openly enthusiastic, such as one UK community officer about Twitter: “It’s just one of these tools that no one expects to have that much of a positive effect … You just need to hit as many people as you can, and this is the only way to do it. This is the only way I can guarantee that I can speak to 520 people every day”. In other countries police officers were rather critical, because they feared “to lose control” over their interactions with the public or simply didn’t “trust private companies like Facebook and Twitter with my data”. Confronted with practices in other forces – for instance experiments with Skype and 3D-video links in the Netherlands as replacements for the reporting of minor crimes in person (Click here for a demonstration in Dutch) – raised eye brows and incredulous shaking of the head were very common reactions.

These differences in acceptance and practices are not only of academic interest. Many police forces worldwide are currently implementing or planning to implement social media. What are the reactions they can expect from their officers? Moreover, international collaborations can run into problems, if specific practices and the acceptance of these practices collide.

But what are the factors that influence, whether police officers are willing to use social media in their work or not? At the moment, we lack a good answer. To find an answer we currently started an online study into social media use and acceptance in police forces. Our main objectives are to better understand what influences the degree of acceptance of social media use by police officers, and in this context obtain a better overview of the current use of social media across countries.

Yet, to make this study a success, I need your support! Therefore:

Please participate.
The survey is online and can be filled out anonymously. This will take about 8-10 minutes. We are looking for broad participation – including officers that already use social media in their work and those who do not. (We are interested in personal opinions, so even if you have no personal experience with social media, as long as you have an opinion on the topic, please take part!)


The survey is accessible online: http://erim.3uu.de/uc/pbayerl/83ec/ [8-10 minutes]


More information about who runs the study and the use of the data can be found below.

Many thanks for your support!

Background information on the study
Who runs this study?
The study is conducted in the context of the COMPOSITE project, which is an EU-funded research project on organizational changes in European police. The study itself is led by Dr. P. Saskia Bayerl at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Netherlands.

How will we use the data?
We are bound by strict rules about data protection and security concerning the handling and storage of information. This means that data will only be accessible by the principal investigator, and that all data will only be used for academic purposes. The data we collect is anonymous, i.e., we will not ask for any information that can be traced back to an individual officer.

Where will you hear about the results?
You will be able to read about the results here on ConnectedCops.
The COMPOSITE project: COMPOSITE (“Comparative Police Studies in the EU”) is an international, interdisciplinary research project for the comparative study of organizational change in police forces across Europe. The project is partially funded by the European Commission in the context of the FP7-program. This four year project started in August 2010 and involves fifteen research partners from ten countries: Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Republic of Macedonia, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The fifteen participating organizations include universities, business schools, police academies, technical research institutes and consultancy organizations. Moreover, twenty-five police forces from the participating countries are actively involved in the research and support us in translating academic research results into the implications for police practice.

P. Saskia Bayerl (short biography): Dr. Petra Saskia Bayerl is a post-doctoral researcher at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Netherlands. She received her PhD from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands (2010; Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering). She further holds master degrees in Psychology (MSc, Giessen University, Germany), Linguistics (MA, Giessen University) and Organizational Dynamics (MA, University of Oklahoma, USA). In the past she has done research on participative leadership in US police forces and on the impact of changing information and communication technologies on team work in the offshore oil industry. Since 2010 she is member of the EU-funded project “Comparative Police Studies in the EU” (COMPOSITE, www.composite-project.eu). Her current research focuses on the link between technological and organizational change with a special emphasis on social media, the role of identity and leadership in the organizational change process, as well as online impression formation and management.

Contact:
Dr. P. Saskia Bayerl
Rotterdam School of Management
Erasmus University
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Email: pbayerl@composite.rsm.nl

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ConnectedCOPS Awards Finalists press release

LAwS Communications announced finalists in the ConnectedCOPS™ Awards, a new awards program for law enforcement using social media. The ConnectedCOPS Awards were created with the intent of recognizing the great work being done with social media in six categories, by individual sworn officers and law enforcement agencies. Winners will be announced at The SMILE Conference™ in Richmond, Va. on September 10, 2012.

“The ConnectedCOPS Awards are setting the bar for law enforcement agencies and officers,” said Lauri Stevens of LAwS Communications. “Until now they had nothing to gauge their work against. Now they will have examples of excellent work to strive to equal or improve upon.”

Joseph Porcelli, the director of engagement services for GovDelivery and GovLoop said, “LAwS Communications through the ConnectedCOPS Awards has filled the needed gap to recognize the contributions made by law enforcement organizations and individuals, which up until now have not received the credit they deserve.”

The ConnectedCOPS Awards finalists are:

Social Media Incident Management Award (Individual or Agency) (Sponsored by Nixle)

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, California
  • New South Wales Police, Australia
  • Queensland Police Service, Australia

Social Media Investigator Award (Individual) (Sponsored by LexisNexis)

  • Detective Ian Barraclough, Vancouver Police
  • Detective Mark Fenton, Vancouver Police
  • Detective Patricia van Dalen, Dutch Police, The Hague

Award of Excellence at a Large Agency

  • New South Wales Police, Australia
  • Reykjavik Metropolitan Police, Iceland
  • Toronto Police Service, Canada

Award of Excellence at a Small Agency

  • Billerica Police, Massachusetts
  • Redlands Police, California
  • Redwood City Police, California

Top Cop Award (Individual)

  • Gordon Scobbie, Deputy Chief Constable, Tayside, Scotland
  • Henk Van Der Linden, Rotterdam Police, Netherlands
  • Peter Sloly, Toronto Police, Canada
  • Stuart Hyde, Chief Constable, Cumbria Police, UK

Leadership Award (Individual)

  • Constable Ed Rogerson, Harrogate Police, North Yorkshire, UK
  • Constable Scott Mills, Toronto Police, Canada
  • Sergeant Jay Turner, Hamilton Police, Canada
  • Sergeant Rob Sutton, Portsmouth City Central Police,
  • Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK
  • Special Constable Tom Stirling, North Yorkshire Police, UK

The first annual ConnectedCOPS Awards will be presented at the sixth Social Media the Internet and Law Enforcement (SMILE) Conference on September 10-12, 2012 in Richmond, Va. Winners in the above six categories will be honored and their achievement recognized. The SMILE Conference brings together one of the largest assemblages of law enforcement professionals from around the world to address the topics of social media strategy, reputation management, policy and other issues pertaining to community outreach. The three-day event will also emphasize information sharing and homeland security.

The sixth SMILE Conference is hosted by the Richmond Police Department. There will be a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, September 11, to further explore and discuss issues concerning social media and law enforcement that could not be fully addressed during the plenary session. For more information please visit http://www.TheSMILEConference.com.

The international panel of judges are:

Sponsor Representatives

  • Nixle – Travis Scott, Vice President
  • LexisNexis – Susan Crandall, Marketing Lead, Law Enforcement

International Media Partners

International Support Partners

For award criteria, rules and judging information see http://www.ConnectedCOPS.net/ConnectedCOPSAwards.

About LAwS Communications

LAwS Communications has been providing interactive media advice to law enforcement since 2005. Open Source communication technologies available today allow organizations to efficiently gather and distribute information like never before. LAwS Communications works with law enforcement professionals to help make sense of the tools available, help agencies craft a plan and social media policy as well as provide the training needed. LAwS Communications can help law enforcement organizations not only understand why an agency should take advantage of social media technologies, but also how to leverage these vast resources. LAwS Communications is located in Newbury, Massachusetts. It is a subsidiary of Stevens & Associates Inc.

For more information, please visit http://lawscommunications.com.

ConnectedCOPS Awards 2012: Finalists announced for Leadership Award

The ConnectedCOPS Leadership Award finalists have been determined. Approximately two dozen nominations for 21 officers from three countries were received for this award. The finalists in this category are pioneers, have demonstrated exemplary leadership and have mentored their peers.

Dale Stockton is a Senior Editor at Law Officer magazine, and one of seven judges for this category. “Leadership is so incredibly important in public safety, especially when you’re entering a relatively new area like social media,” he said, and added “It is really encouraging to see so many powerful examples of individuals who have stepped up and are leading the way for others.”

ConnectedCOPS Leadership Award

This award is given to the individual 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.

Because there were so many great leaders nominated in this category, the judges selected five finalists. They are listed below in no significant order:

Special Constable Tom Stirling, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Special Constable Tom Stirling worked diligently to bring the North Yorkshire Police Service into digital communications on his own time by designing a mobile application. He then taught himself how to program the app resulting in “NYP mobile”, the first mobile app in policing in England, all at no cost to his department. His work has earned him the “Outstanding Police Communicator” Award from the Association of Police Communicators and has been emulated by other departments.

Police Constable Ed Rogerson, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Police Constable Ed Rogerson is regarded as possibly the first officer in the UK to use social media for community engagement. Rogerson is nationally and internationally known for his use of social media and is often cited as an example of best practice. He regularly speaks at professional events about his use of social media in policing. His work has gained him near celebrity status among youth in the UK as they recognize him from Twitter and YouTube.

Constable Scott Mills, Toronto Police Service, Canada
Constable Mills is highly regarded as a global leader in police adoption of social media. One of his foremost qualities is that he works in service of others, in relentless pursuit to improve public safety and support others to do the same. Mills is the quintessential pioneer and has put in countless hours, he has endured much criticism from those who don’t or won’t understand, and yet he persists. Through his sincere and consistent approach, Mills has even gained support and a considerable following from unlikely groups, including gang members and activists.

Sergeant Rob Sutten, Portsmouth City Central Police, United Kingdom
Sergeant Sutten has been the leader and champion at the Hampshire Constabulary in the UK for his groundbreaking local use of Twitter. He is said to be innovate, charismatic and jovial. With his media department, he developed a fictional character called “Ninah” to develop crime prevention messages for children and incorporated humor and games. Ninah also tweets real-time updates about committed offenses, the thrill of her chase, as well as the arrest and result of conviction.

Sergeant Jay Turner, Hamilton Police Service, Canada
Sergeant Turner has taken Twitter use to a new level and is widely regarded as innovative and humorous. Because of the strength of his messaging on Twitter, he has significantly improved the public communication from HPS to citizens. Sergeant Turner mentors others at HPS, having personally developed five of the agency’s seven accounts, overcoming reluctance from his colleagues and supervisors.

This is the final awards category to be announced this week. Finalists in the other awards categories were announced earlier in the week on this blog and can be found at the links provided below. Winners will be announced September 10th at The SMILE Conference™ in Richmond, Virginia.

Previous finalists were announced earlier this week:

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 2012: Finalists Announced for Top Cop Award

The ConnectedCOPS Top Cop finalists have been determined. A dozen of the planet’s top police executives in five countries were nominated for this award. The finalists in this category have demonstrated exemplary leadership and have mentored their peers.

Joe Porcelli is Director of Engagement Services for GovDelivery and GovLoop and was one of seven judges in this category. “Judging this award has been an inspiring experience,” he said, and added “I strongly encourage everyone to appreciate the drive, innovation and persistence they each have demonstrated in service to their fellow citizens.”

ConnectedCOPS Top Cop

This award is given to the sworn law enforcement executive of the rank of LT (or its international equivalent) and up, 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.

We have four finalists and they are (in no order of significance):

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. Some of the first professional police gatherings to address the topic had, and continue to have, Deputy Sloly as their main speaker. He continues to share this enthusiasm and leadership expertise widely to an international audience. He is said to “walk the talk” and has lead the Toronto Police Service to be considered among the best in the world with social media. He leads up and down to create an atmosphere of openness, and encourages all to participate in a Service of 8,000 members.

Deputy Chief Constable Gordon Scobbie, Tayside Police & ACPO
In addition to his duties as DCC in Tayside, Gordon Scobbie serves as the ACPO appointed Social Media Lead for Police for all of the United Kingdom. DCC Scobbie daily gives of his time and wisdom to help his colleagues learn to also lead with open source technologies and to embrace “what they don’t know” in order to better embrace input. Scobbie has traveled internationally to speak to his peers at several major law enforcement conferences and has successfully convinced many of his colleagues to take the risks necessary to gain the many benefits of social media. He is one of few voices to stress engagement over all else in order to also realize the full potential of social media in policing.

Chief Constable Stuart Hyde, Cumbria Police
CC Hyde has lead the Cumbria Constabulary’s social media program to be among the finest in the UK. Chief Hyde is the President of the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace, Vice-President of the High Tech Crime Consortium and was instrumental in the creation of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). CC Hyde gives regularly of his time to support charities including the Blue Lamp Foundation, Marie Collins Foundation and regularly jumps into very cold water to support Comic Relief and Sport Relief.

Inspector Henk van der Linden, Rotterdam Police
Inspector van der Linden is a strong force in the strategic use of social media in policing in the Netherlands. As a project manager for the Rotterdam Police, he is an innovative and inspired leader and from that he was a leader in the adoption of social media by the Dutch Police. He is the co-founder of the “9 domains of social media”, a program being used as a guideline for the use of social media in law enforcement for the Dutch police and internationally. Because of his incredible work, the Dutch police are considered a European front runner in social media and policing.

Finalists in the other awards categories will be announced throughout this week on this blog. Check back to see the finalists for the Leadership Award tomorrow. Winners will be announced September 10th at The SMILE Conference™ in Richmond, Virginia.

Previous finalists were announced earlier this week:

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.

Disclaimer: DCC Gordon Scobbie also served as a judge on these awards. He did not judge, nor did he have access to nominee information for, this category.

ConnectedCOPS Awards 2012: Finalists Announced for Excellence at a Small Agency

The ConnectedCOPS Excellence at a Small Agency Award finalists have been determined. This award generated 16 nominations for 9 agencies from three countries.

The finalists in this category have demonstrated innovation and variety of approaches to integrating social media. “Even though they have fewer people, they have shown great leadership in developing an online presence,” said Paul Lander, Senior Editor at Police Professional in the UK, and one of seven judges in this category. He added, “from prolific engagement, to re-engineering their delivery models and simply showing the human face of law enforcement through the use of humour, they’ve all found ways of engaging with their communities, providing information and receiving feedback, at least as proficiently as many of the larger organisations.”

ConnectedCOPS Excellence at a Small Agency

This award is given to a law enforcement agency of 150 sworn officers or fewer 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 (in no order of significance):

Redwood City Police, California
Redwood City Police began using social media early in 2011 and is considered a leader in the Bay Area with regard to implementation of social media into policing. Together with Fremont PD, Redwood City created the Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group (BALESMG) to help other government groups create best practices. The group now has over 50 agency members from five counties that meet quarterly.

Billerica Police, Massachusetts
The Billerica Police Department has focused on increased community engagement with social media. Residents report being well-informed by the BPD and to feeling safer knowing “what and where things are happening”. BPD not only uses social media to keep residents informed of everything from road closures to criminal activity, but their program has also been integral during community emergencies such as winter storms.

Redlands Police, California
Redlands Police primarily uses, and was instrumental in developing, Copbook into its knowledge management program. Copbook is a secure, encrypted, law enforcement only application using architecture similar to that which is used by U.S. intelligence service analysts and allows department members to communicate within the agency and with other agencies. It is the backbone for RPD’s knowledge management program to Capture, Use, Share and Increase what its members know about local crime and disorder issues.

Finalists in the other awards categories will be announced throughout this week on this blog. Check back to see the finalists for the Top Cop Award tomorrow. Winners will be announced September 10th at The SMILE Conference™ in Richmond, Virginia.

Previous finalists were announced earlier this week:

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.

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