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ConnectedCOPS Awards 2013: Finalists for Civilian Award of Excellence

ConnectedCOPS Social Media Civilian Award of Excellence

This award is given to the individual civilian member or employee of a law enforcement agency who has singularly demonstrated overall excellence 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 and innovative and shares what s/he knows by mentoring others, participating in public speaking opportunities and leading by example.

The finalists in the Civilian Award of Excellence category in many cases are the leaders within their agencies to implement social media. These individuals are true pioneers. The judges report that with many very accomplished people being nominated, naming finalists was a challenge and determining a winner will not be an easy decision.

There are three finalists in this category:

Bridget FitzPatrick, Omaha, NE Police
Bridget works directly with the local community of Omaha by listening to their needs and providing a civilian perspective of law enforcement. Bridget has secured a regular live spot on a local TV station where she presents on safety and police action from a citizen’s viewpoint. OPD recently had very negative press from an incident involving an officer. Through a collaborative effort, and with Bridget taking the reins, OPD was able to manage the event to a more positive outcome. With hard work, including time on her day-off, to navigate through a period of extremely negative spamming, hate comments and anti-police Facebook comments and pages. Fitzpatrick’s expertise and viewpoint successfully addressed concerns from both the civilian and police who were involved.

Dionne Waugh, Richmond, VA Police
The Department’s Command Staff met Dionne’s efforts with a great deal of skepticism. It took tenacity and patience to drag a group of “Old Guard” staff into the modern day of social media and take a chance on creating a Facebook Page for the department. She was the first to understand how Facebook could establish the link between the Department and the general public – a line of communication that is critical to the success of community policing. Ms. Waugh is constantly called upon to speak at police conferences and always accepts any opportunity to help colleagues better understand and use social media. Through her hard work and dedication, she has established the Richmond PD as one of the top agencies for its size in the nation.

Mark Myers, Oklahoma County Sheriff
Mark Myers has lead the OCSO to become a leader in the implementation of social media and one of the most followed sheriff’s offices in the country. Whether sharing information regarding natural disasters, arrests, traffic, crime incidents, or sharing community services information, social media has become a priority within the agency under Myers’ direction. In May of 2013 central Oklahoma was ravaged by deadly severe weather that included tornados and flooding. With Myers’ leadership, the OCSO became a mainstay of information through social media. Additionally, the OCSO participated in the Global Police Tweet-a-thon. Mr. Myers used the event to generate leads in a 30 year old cold case.

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 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 Social Media Event Management

ConnectedCOPS Social Media Event Management

This award is given to the law enforcement agency anywhere in the world who has used social media to manage and/or influence a public safety/emergency event, whether unforeseen or known. This agency has strategically and successfully implemented social media engagement techniques to positively and effectively communicate public safety information in an urgent or emergency situation.

The finalists in the Social Media in Event Management category have done extraordinary work managing emergency events. The judges were very impressed with the quality of nominations in this category.

There are two finalists in this category:

Calgary Police, Canada
When the greatest disaster in the city’s history hit Calgary, the media went quiet and so did City websites and social media accounts. That’s when the Calgary Police Service stepped up. In an attempt to communicate during the crisis, CPS put out numerous updates on Twitter and Facebook, as well as responding to many of the over 22,000 mentions between June 20–24. When a City of Calgary website housing evacuation maps went dark, CPS took those same maps and posted them on their Flickr account, answering the questions of many confused Calgarians. On the Service’s official YouTube account, an hour-long video from their HAWCS helicopter showing the devastation of the flood was posted which quickly garnered 77,000 views. The Digital Communications Team, who run the Service’s social media accounts, also acted quickly to produce daily video updates to keep the Service’s members informed. Throughout the emergency, the Calgary Police Service social media accounts became the most trusted source for important information.

Boston Police, United States
The Boston Police Department made headlines around the world after the marathon bombings with their use of Twitter to keep the public informed of what was happening during the search for the suspects. When CNN and other major news outlets reported inaccurate information, they were quick to correct and kept an anxious public as calm as possible as a result. Their use of Twitter during the several days after the marathon garnered them over 300,000 followers making them the third most follow law enforcement agency in the world on Twitter.

Finalists in the other awards categories will be announced throughout this week on this blog. Check back to see the finalists for Civilian Award of Excellence 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.

Cheers to #SMILEcon

Cheers to the upcoming SMILE Conference, September 24-26, 2013. To celebrate the SMILE Conference coming to Omaha, the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau is hosting a special giveaway. Each week from now until August 19th a SMILE registrant will win a gift card to one of Omaha’s popular watering holes. Register for the 2013 SMILE Conference and you’re automatically entered for a chance to win one of the following:

  • $20 gift card to Tap House – Drawing date: August 9
  • $40 gift card to Beer and Blatt – Drawing date: August 16
  • $50 gift card to Upstream – Drawing date: August 23

In the meantime, start planning your trip. Finds things to do and where to eat at www.visitomaha.com. If time permits during the conference, Instagram a video as you explore the world’s largest indoor desert, tweet a pic of yourself standing in two states at the same time and check in on Facebook as you enjoy a frosty lager at one of Omaha’s friendly neighborhood bars. Share your experiences using #OmahaWeekend!

Burglars do not use social media!

Editor’s note: Previously on this blog we posted and infographic titled “How burglars use social media”. On the heels of that posting came this infographic as a result of research done in The Netherlands suggesting just the opposite.

‘Don’t advertise that you are away. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a risk if people know you are away and your home is empty’. This is a frequently repeated message. Taking precautions is reasonable but why make such a fuss about it when there is none scientific proof that burglars do use social media?

This research makes clear that it appears to be quite difficult to use social media in regard to finding a suitable home/target for burglars. The research states that 77% of the social media-users protects their online information. Because of all the well protected information, burglars find it difficult to find useful information and even more so to use this information to actually steal something. In addition, an experiment in which two groups of cops (in training) were playing the part of burglars, makes clear that compared to the ‘old fashioned way’ (scouring the streets), social media is not lucrative. The ‘burglars’ in the control group were asked to find as many suitable targets in the streets. The ‘burglars’ in the experimental group were asked to find as many suitable targets while using social media. It appears that searching through or with social media is quite difficult and above all extremely time consuming. This makes the control group – and the old fashioned method, more profitable. Moreover, a burglar has to check the house once more before actually entering the house.

After all: the best way to enter the house is not updated on social media and has to be observed while standing in front of the house. The following infographic – made by Renée Penris – demonstrates the other conclusions following this research.

Linda Nagelhout just completed her MsC in Criminology at De Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her final thesis was about Burglary & Social Media. This infographic is the result of her research. @Lindo1509

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