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.