Hh3>Chief Inspector Josh Maxwell gives advice on how social media can benefit emergency responses.

Editor’s note: The SMILE (Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement) Conference provides officers with all the technical hands-on skills and the practical knowledge to utlitze social media platforms for public outreach, crime prevention and forensics. The conference is a great opportunity for those involved in social media efforts to share suggestions and stories on this ever-changing topic. Below you will find social media tips from one of the speakers at the conference.

Policing (encompassing the management of emergencies) the future society (of NSW and Australasia) requires a radical shift in strategic planning. For a number of years, police agencies world-wide have grappled with a world that’s in a continual state of change and with advancements in technologies that assist in the detection and prosecution of offenders. Yet, it’s argued we have yet to harness these technologies in crime prevention and preparing our communities for emergencies and disaster.

With the advent and success of the “eyewatch” program, now more than ever it’s argued that the NSW police force and all law enforcement and emergency service agencies need to harness the power of social media. Here are some ways social media can benefit your department and public safety as a whole.

Planning & Preparation
• Community engagement in emergencies: Build the audience and prepare them for emergencies.
• Dissemination of accurate and timely information in preparation for any emergency and crisis.
• Build community confidence that agencies are prepared and capable.
• Build trust between the community and public safety.

• Emergency and crisis management: Manage community expectations with real-time warnings and information.
• Build resilience. Don’t rely on websites alone; use a variety of social media platforms.
• Police and emergency resource management: What are police and emergency services doing? Embed confidence in the community so that they feel that they are not alone.
• Provide real-time information about the disaster and emergency 24/7.

• Real-time information: Provide details on recovery processes and on what’s being done by whom.
• Manage expectations.

Chief Inspector Josh Maxwell has been a police officer in NSW for 22 years, with his career covering General Duties, Plainclothes and Investigations, Public Order and Firearms and Operational Safety Instructional duties. He has been involved in tactical, operational and strategic command of major incidents and police operations as well as education delivery, administration, human resource management and leadership. Chief Inspector Maxwell is currently the Project Manager for Project “eyewatch” – New South Wales Police Force.