The Social Media Incident Management Award is sponsored by Nixle.

The ConnectedCOPS Social Media Incident Management Award is generously sponsored by Nixle. Travis Scott is Vice President of Agency relations at Nixle. He said, “Nixle is proud to be the sponsor of the Social Media Incident Management award because in a world where social media has drastically changed the way that people communicate, it is critical that our local law enforcement and public safety embrace the power of these platforms as well. We at Nixle believe that the winner of this award should be considered a model agency that all other agencies can based their social media strategy on.”

Nominations for this award came from several countries. The finalists in this category are doing extraordinary work managing emergency events. The judges were very impressed with the quality of nominations in this category.

ConnectedCOPS Social Media Incident Management

This award is given to the law enforcement officer or 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 officer/agency has strategically and successfully implemented social media engagement techniques to positively and effectively communicate public safety information in an urgent or emergency situation.

We have three finalists and they are (in no particular order):

Queensland Police, Australia

The QPS Social Media strategy began in mid-2010 to provide timely and accurate public safety information, and to support operational police in the course of their duties. Later that year, on Christmas Eve, Cyclone Tasha made landfall creating flooding across Queensland. The agency primarily used Facebook and Twitter to keep the people of Queensland up to date with updates averaging every ten minutes. Radio and television stations were directing their audiences to the QPS Facebook page as the official source of information. Social media allowed QPS to transcend traditional communication boundaries, providing a much faster and more efficient service to the media both nationally and internationally via the QPS YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter pages. The robustness of social media sites allowed QPS to distribute high volumes of vital information and to maintain access to that information while many government websites crashed under the sheer weight of user traffic.

New South Wales Police, Australia

In 2012, the state of New South Wales, Australia was subject to severe flooding across the North West and South West of the State over an area twice the size of Texas. The New South Wales Police, having developed Project Eyewatch, used the program to create a range of warning notices during the extreme flooding in the New South Wales area. Project Eyewatch is a platform for the delivery of information to the community of NSW utilising Facebook. The “eyewatch” concept is about penetrating into and engaging the community to identify problems and work on a whole of community solution. In policing terms, this enhances their ability to environmentally scan their communities with a target on 1. Crime Prevention 2. Crime Detection 3. Emergency Management 4. Crisis Management and 5 Counter Terrorism Management. In terms of major emergencies, the State of NSW, through Project Eyewatch and its strategic links to all government response and combat agencies is in a solid position to inform community about emergencies, strategies to combat those emergencies and general safety information, prior to, during and post emergency.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, California

During the 2011 Christmas/New Year’s holiday season, the Los Angeles County area experienced an alarming wake-up call when several fires broke out during a one week period. It was evident early on that the fires were at the hands of a serial arsonist intent on burning everything in his path. Because the incident locations took place in multiple agency jurisdictions, the investigation required investigators from agencies ranging from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, and members of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assembling all of the agencies under one Joint Tasks Force was no small task but what was equally impressive was the Joint Information Center established to communicate one unified public message utilizing social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Nixle and agency websites. 

Finalists in the other awards categories will be announced throughout this week on this blog. The Social Media Investigator finalists were announced July 16th. Check back to see the finalists for Excellence in a Large Agency 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.