Our social:

Post from category:

Apply Business Strategies to your Agency’s Social Media Plan

Some of the biggest hurdles in building an agency’s social media strategy comes right out of the starting gate: How do you get started? What are you supposed to post? How are you supposed to interact with the community?

By applying business strategies to your agency’s social media plan, you define clear-cut goals and objectives and develop relationships through social media communications.

Step one: Define and analyze your target audience

Your first step is to define your audience. Will your agency target the public? Other law enforcement agencies? Prospective recruits? The media? By narrowing your focus to one or two of these target audiences, you will help your agency craft more meaningful communications. If you target too many different audiences, your messages will seem random and insignificant.

In this research phase, you will also need to analyze how your audience uses social media. You’ll need to determine what mediums they use and how they use them. If your audience is primarily using Myspace and Twitter to talk about local news, you’ll not be serving your target audience’s best interests if you decide to use Facebook and Nixle to give them the weather report. Don’t be afraid to ask your audience for input – create an online message board to ask which mediums people use and why they use them, or ask citizens face-to-face while you’re patrolling the community.

Step two: Define your brand

A brand is an image, slogan, symbol or anything that can be used to define a business, agency or organization. Your agency’s social media brand is going to be what your audience should and will expect from your agency. You should start defining your brand by asking, “What sets us apart?” You can’t be all things to all people on social media, so a best practice is to pick one or two things to focus your efforts on. Your focus becomes your brand.

Will your agency’s brand be public safety? Traffic problems and patterns? Emergency management? Community events and issues? By choosing a focus, your agency brands itself as the authority on tips for avoiding that messy construction zone or a resource for reporters with public safety questions.

Step three: Define your message and personality

Once you define your agency’s brand, you should be able to craft messages fairly easily. The key to connecting with people is to remember that social media is just that – social. Remember that people connect to people – not businesses or agencies. Your social media sites should include the name and photo of the person maintaining the account. Separate accounts for officers or other departments can also help your audience relate to the agency.

It’s also a good rule of thumb to include one personal or anecdotal post for every four official posts. This will show your followers that not only do you have a lot of great information, but you’re also a person with a life, just like them. Try asking them how their weekends were, or what community events they’re taking part in this week. Not only will you gain information about what people in your community are doing and where they’re going, but you’ll also be surprised at the personal interaction you’ll get.

Related post: The C.O.P.P.S. Social Media Method

Kelly Reynolds

Kelly L. Reynolds is a publications specialist with the Rocky Mountain Information Network, a regional law enforcement intelligence agency based in Phoenix, Arizona. At RMIN she designs and edits the monthly magazine, the RMIN Bulletin, which includes her monthly “Social Media Corner” column. Kelly also works as a social media consultant and has several years of experience as an online/social media reporter for a daily newspaper. @reynoldsreport | facebook.com/reynoldsreport

Tech for Cops: a Round Up

I’m going to kick off with a startup outfit called Broadcastr.

Broadcastr allows you, or anyone else for that matter, to record and upload audio clips and have them organised by geographic location. What this means is that people can listen to an audio clip that is tagged to a specific location. They can also choose to listen to a specific category of story. The highest rated stories are played first and people can share stories they like with their social networks or follow the person who submitted it.

For me this potentially provides yet another great opportunity for policing to move into an additional engagement channel. I have blogged before about how forces, and neighbourhood teams in particular, could take advantage of geo location services such as Gowalla and Foursquare to allow people to ‘check in’ with their neighbourhood policing teams and ‘earn’ badges and rewards by greater levels of engagement (Communication to Cooperation to Collaboration). Broadcastr opens an additional channel. Neighbourhood policing teams could for instance, record ‘about your neighbourhood team’ audio clips, or ‘team updates’ or ‘you said, we did’ updates, or crime appeals or or or! Public order commanders could have safety messages uploaded that were appropriate to the event and location and change them easily as the event progressed. Roads policing might use it to publicise an enforcement campaign in a specific area.

The site is in beta right now (and a bit on the slow side), but you can already listen to people talking about holiday visits to various parts of the UK.

Next up an interesting article that’s quite timely given the possible scale of protest in the near future, anti-surveillance camouflage, CV Dazzle (or how to hide from facial recognition software).

At the moment CV Dazzle is a New York University thesis project, but the website describes the concept as ‘camouflage from computer vision (CV)’

The site goes on ‘It is a form of expressive interference that combines makeup and hair styling (or other modifications) with face-detection thwarting designs. The name is derived from a type of camouflage used during WWI, called Dazzle, which was used to break apart the image of warships, making it hard to discern their directionality, size, and orientation. Likewise, the goal of CV Dazzle™ is to break apart the understanding of a face, or object, and make it undetectable to computer vision algorithms, in particular face detection.

And because face detection is the first step in automated facial recognition, CV Dazzle™ can be used in any environment where automated face recognition systems are in use, such as FaceBook, Google’s Picasa, or Flickr’

It may only be a thesis project at the moment, but next time you’re working a public order event and you see people wearing highly stylised make up designs, it just might be a Dazzle disguise.

Staying on the unmasking disguises theme, Fast Company magazine reports that ‘Researchers at Concordia University have discovered a way to mathematically uncover the unique (and often sub-conscious) writing style, or “write print,” of each individual. The most immediate application will help law enforcement identify the author of anonymous emails from a line of suspects. As of now, the program is roughly 85% accurate and confined to email sniffing, but it’s conceivable that the technology could eventually unearth the identities of spammers, trolls, or even terrorists.

The proving ground for the team’s sleuth algorithm was 200,000 real-life emails from 150 Enron employees. From a small sample of 10 subjects and 100 emails, the technique correctly identified between 80 to 90% of subjects. Thus, it’s not accurate enough for a court of law (because 20% of subjects would be falsely accused), but it is enormously beneficial to resource-strapped detectives’.

Just to add to the detectives joy, it was reported last week that a team led by an Indian scientist has developed new software that can, allegedly, automatically match hand-drawn facial sketches to mug shots stored in police databases.

The research is published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. Good luck getting hold of that.

And finally, when they say that ‘a little bird told me’ they may just be telling the truth. Researchers have developed an unmanned aerial drone in the shape and form of a hummingbird.

With a 6.5-inch wing span, the remote-controlled bird weighs less than a AA battery and can fly at speeds of up to 11 mph, propelled only by the flapping of its two wings. A tiny video camera sits in its belly.

The bird can climb and descend vertically, fly sideways, forward and backward. It can rotate clockwise and counterclockwise. Most of all it can hover and perch on a window ledge while it gathers intelligence,

Just to really scare you, the researchers are apparently working on new drones that look like insects and the helicopter-like maple leaf seed.

Finally, don’t forget that only blog items are emailed to you. Check out the ‘interesting things’ category on the www.openeyecommunications.com web site for snippets that don’t make it to the blog email and the ‘agency reports’ section for the latest reports and publications from across the various agencies and government ministries.

This article was previously published on the OPen Eye Communications Blog.

Facebook Search & Investigative Tips

The most common investigative request I receive is for information about Facebook. With over 500 million active users, it seems that everyone now has an account. Let’s look at the options.

If you have a name, searching Facebook is quite easy. Unfortunately, you must be logged in to a Facebook account to search and view profiles. Creating a real or fake account is easy, and I maintain a tutorial video here. To search a name, simply begin typing the name into the top search box on the page. It should look like this:

If you see the desired subject, you can click on the name. I do not recommend this, as you may have the wrong subject. Instead, click the “See more results…” link at the bottom. This will display the profiles that match your name. You may need to scroll down and click “See more results” for common names. If you are overwhelmed with options, click the “People” link on the left menu. This will allow you to filter by Location, Education, or Workplace. The most common use here is to type in the location of your target. This will help narrow down the results.

Now you can browse through the profiles. If you do not want to create an account, you can use sites like Facebook-Search or Open Facebook Search to search without logging in. This has worked for me in the past, but there are other options.

Facebook Advanced Search will allow you to search with many options. This requires you to be logged into an account to work. Start by clicking on the “Find People” tab. This will allow a search using ANY of the following: Name, School, City, Gender, Age (Min & Max), Relationship, DOB, etc. You can even search for people within a specified radius of a zip code. This is beneficial when you are not sure which local city was listed.

Clicking on the “Posts” tab will allow you to search within “Wall” posts by keyword. This is similar to the site Your Open Book. An example here would be to search a phone number. If any user ever listed that number on a Wall post, you would get a result which would identify the person’s name and profile. I have been very successful in the past using this method to identify unknown cell numbers. I encourage you to play around with this feature. This only searches the posted content, not the name of the person posting. If your target was mentioned in a post, it would find that. I maintain a video showing full details of this app HERE. Alos try the Your Open Book, as it occasionally obtains different results. If searching phone numbers, don’t use dashes, just the last four and middle three.

Between Facebook, Advanced Search, Open Facebook Search, and Your Open Book, you should easily find the content if it is out there. If you find a profile that is blocked, and the “Post” search tools did not yield results, there are still options.

If you want to locate photos from a blocked profile, open the user’s “Friends” list. I usually filter by the last name of the target. This will identify relatives that the target communicates with. Click on their profiles and go to the Wall section. Keep scrolling and clicking the “older posts” until you see photos that the person was tagged in. These will be photo albums of other users, possibly your target. Once you see a tagged photo from your target’s photo album, click it. This will open Facebook’s new photo viewer, which we do not want. Once this is open, hit the F5 key on your keyboard. This will refresh the page, close the photo viewer, and you will now be in the original photo album of your target. You can browse all photos even though their profile is private.

Here is a poor and obviously staged example. I have a private Facebook page HERE. There are no photos shared to the public. If you click on my only friend “John”, you will go to his page. Since his Wall is public, you can click on it and see posts. One post announces that I tagged him in my (private) photo album. By clicking on the word “album” directly after my name, you will now have access to all of my photos, even though they are not on my public profile.

In summary, if your original target of interest has a photo album, and he or she has “tagged” a person that has a public “wall”, you will eventually receive a live link to the original target’s photo album. On several occasions, this has been an easy and legal way to browse photos of subjects that have blocked their profile. This may take some time, but persistence will pay off.

Finally, if all else fails, I use a subpoena. Obviously, this applies to Law Enforcement. Facebook can be tricky about the wording that is required. If you do not use the right language, you will probably receive nothing or a response without content. For a copy of the Facebook LE guide, click HERE. This will explain the detail, but here is a summary.

The first part of this is to get a subpoena to send to Facebook. This subpoena should have the following language (using your target’s profile number). “Any and all records identified in relation to Facebook profile ID of 123456789 to include a full Neoprint of user ID 123456789, Photoprint of user ID 123456789, User Contact Info of user ID 1123456789,  and IP Log of user ID 123456789? A full copy of a sample subpoena can be found HERE. After this is sent, Facebook requests an email be sent to them with your info and the profile number of the requested target. This will allow them to send you an email with the results, which is faster than Postal. Below is an example of how the email should look.

Usually, a response will arrive in 2-4 weeks. If you have an exigent circumstance, such as an abduction, you should send an email to  subpoena@fb.com with the subject “EMERGENCY MATTER”. You can also call 650- 543-4938, but this will only allow you to leave a message. If you have an ABSOLUTE dire emergency, contact me and I can help.

This post was previously published on Computer Crime Info Blog.

Twitter at the heart of communities

After the success of the GMP24 Twitter day, when the Greater Manchester Police force tweeted all the calls for help received, the use of social media has gone back to its roots. Local neighbourhood officers have been given the power to start connecting with their community through the social network.

The first one went live on 25 October and a challenge has been how to evaluate the progress and measure success. There are some systems that you can use to gauge the influence and impact that your social media activity has. But one of the simplest measures is whether it is bringing results and support officers as they go about their day-to-day business.

Police Community Support Officer Ben Scott was the first to begin using Twitter to communicate with his communities in Didsbury, Withington, Old Moat and Burnage in South Manchester. In the space of four months he has gathered more than 500 followers.
In a recent report Ben said: “Through Twitter I can communicate with hundreds of people instantly. I, as just one officer, can connect with hundreds of people within seconds. This is something when I think about it that is truly amazing, and something that would have been impossible years ago.

“The key to the use of Twitter is that it is used in real time. This would appear to be one of the main elements of appreciation from the followers of @GMPdidsbury. I have received many messages, or mentions, from people thanking me for tweeting virtually as soon as a job has come in.”

It is the real examples of how this social media use is supporting the operational activity that are the best way to analyse the progress. Ben has had some great examples of how Twitter can support his work including tweeting personal safety tips for women students after a rape in the local area and also including reassuring messages about the work that was underway. Another example was using Twitter to help repeat victims of antisocial behaviour. A student household had problems with people throwing eggs at their house. Ben did the usual visits and action but mentioned they could follow him on Twitter. After doing that he has been able to maintain contact, they have sent messages asking for visits when Ben is on patrol and discuss any problems.

The use has also helped to expand his knowledge with people sharing information with their local police. Recently after tweeting about the support that is available through the Samaritans one follower highlighted that there was an additional support line available for students. Ben was then able to publicise that service.

There is also the opportunity to share information about public meetings and policing surgeries or general information about crime and what police are doing to make the area safer. But it is the opportunities that exist that have made the greatest impact on Ben.
“I have found that Twitter has become a foundation for innovation and is making me think about new ways to communicate and engage with my community,” Ben added in the recent report. “I look at the positive work me, and my colleagues, are doing in the community and can tell my community about it on a far greater scale than I could have done before.”

The initiative has now led to Ben considering how to make greater use of Twitter by sharing more about the positive work and challenging stereotypical and negative views of the police. This is work that will sit alongside the continued face-to-face communication that must take place. Twitter then becomes a further way to engage people and bring them out of their lives to talk to their officers.

And the final word needs to go to Ben who has really grasped the opportunity of using Twitter, “organisations need to see this as a means to bring in positive change in terms of the service they provide and a way of encouraging innovation.”

Amanda has more than 10 years experience in senior communications roles within the police service and is currently responsible for the Corporate Communications function at Greater Manchester Police.

Initially, trained as a journalist Amanda worked on local newspapers throughout the North
West of England before moving into public relations working for a number of public sector organisations.

She has led the communication team at Greater Manchester Police during some challenging times including the death of the former Chief Constable and numerous counter terrorism investigations. Amanda has been part of the Force’s work to improve community engagement and communication. She was also responsible for the development of the GMP Twitter Day activity in October 2010 where the Force published details of all calls received in a 24 hour period.

Law Enforcement Agencies Using ComputerCOP Software to Address Internet Safety

An innovative and unique parental internet monitoring software program called ComputerCOP is assisting many agencies in their community policing, internet safety/ anti-cyber bullying and agency marketing efforts. This inexpensive, yet extremely powerful and easy to use customizable software is purchased by an agency which then distributes it to parents at no cost to the parents. An agency may purchase it from its own budget, with US DOJ G.R.E.A.T. program funds, COP grants or available seized asset forfeiture funds.

Several agencies ranging from the US Marshals Service, the Alaska Department of Public Safety, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, as well as numerous Florida sheriffs’ offices and ICAC participating agencies have all utilized ComputerCOP software in their community policing efforts to help protect the families they serve, from the inherent dangers of the internet.

LA County DA Steve Cooley distributed the ComputerCOP software to thousands of foster and adoptive families in LA County during his “Protecting Our Kids” countywide initiative with great success. DA Cooley also received an overwhelming positive response from the community and stated “ComputerCOP is an effective way for parents to monitor their children’s online activities and protect them from dangerous images, information and on line predators.”

Michael R. Moore, Beadle County, SD States Attorney states “this software is one way we have found in which we can assist parents in monitoring their children on the Internet. By having the ability to see where your children are visiting on the Internet, you can ensure they are not subjected to images that are not appropriate or going to sites that lend themselves to on-line predators. I would like to thank the sponsors for their support in this program.”

Palm Beach County (FL) Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mike Reardon says “some parents don’t understand how a computer works and they don’t realize how often children are victimized online. This is very simple. No stress,” Reardon said.

Called ComputerCOP, the software quickly scans a personal computer for crime related words, gang terms, pornography, reviews images and videos and saves emails and chats. PBC Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said that one out of 10 children is solicited for sexual reasons online but only one in 30 cases gets reported. “It’s looking for things we don’t want the kids to be involved in,” Bradshaw said.

Nearly all of our law enforcement customers’ report back to the company that they’ve all garnered very positive media response, as well as tremendous community support from concerned parents who are tired of hearing the essentially useless adage of “make sure you put the computer in an area where you can view it from”. With a free ComputerCOP CD in hand, the parents now own a tool which easily enables and empowers them to truly monitor their children on their computer and help reduce the dangers of the Internet!

Officers who wish to obtain additional ComputerCOP information or to receive a free working software sample may contact me @ 1 800 210 4209 x 222 or email me at Jim@ComputerCOP.com.

About the author: James F. Marr is a retired Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff and a member of the IACP/DuPont Kevlar Survivors Club. Jim directs the marketing efforts for the ComptuterCOP Software Corp. in Bohemia, NY. The ComputerCOP Software was developed to significantly increase parents ability to safely monitor their childrens’ on line activity. Hundreds of law enforcement agencies have distributed this US DOJ G.R.E.A.T. Program approved software free to their residents in their community policing/outreach Internet safety initiatives, which almost always garners their agencies very postive community and media support.

Page 56 of 81« First...102030...5455565758...7080...Last »