About You

Image: kalandrakas via Flickr

Image: kalandrakas via Flickr

We want to get to know our readers. Comments on posts are a great start, as are other social networking sites like Twitter (find us there @christammiller , and @cops2point0), Facebook, and various other places.

But we’d like to know why you’re here, specifically. What’s your job function or interest in communications and/or technology use for law enforcement and public safety? What do you want us to do more of, cover more of? Who else do you want to get to know?

Please leave a comment below. Tell us who you are and what you do, what you need and how we can help. We look forward to talking with you!

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29 thoughts on “About You

  1. Tom Le Veque

    I am a Sergeant with a mid-size, Southern California Municipal Police Department in Arcadia, CA. Our agency launched a website some years back, http://www.ci.arcadia.ca.us/home/index.asp?page=1194, which has grown and is a nice addition to our toolbox. Independent of the PD, the Arcadia Police Officers’ Association also started a website, http://www.arcadiapoa.com/1.html. Unfortunately, APD management opted not to embrace the social media idea just yet, and that was why the POA launched our blog a little over a year ago. We have had good feed back and believe that it serves as an excellent form of community outreach and communication. As fast paced as LA County is, it is unfortunate that sometimes our LE here is slow to embrace change…take a look, I am proud of what we have done.

  2. Christa Miller Post author

    Tom, thanks for the comment and the link. The APOA does have a good blog, good mix of information and detail. Out of curiosity: 1) Where is your feedback coming from, if not comments? 2) Do you have presence on, or plans to join, other social media spaces? And 3) What is APD’s stand now on social media — do they approve of your efforts, are they interested in getting into the mix?

  3. Tom Le Veque

    Christa, thanks for the reply. Our feedback has been mainly through word of mouth, a few phone calls, and direct email via our feedback link on the POA website. Comments on the site have been minimal and after looking at other PD blogs we did not expect an overwhelming amount of traffic. We have tracked visitor numbers and are pleased with the results. We have had Google Analytics linked to the site. Other than a couple of the big PD’s, LAPD and Sacramento, use of social media has not caught on locally. So, until other smaller agencies around us become involved, our management is likely to remain distant. Officially, the blog is not supported, however, there have been a handful of times that even the boss has asked for a topic to be posted. The blog has also prompted more interaction with the media. Several W/C’s have commented that media reps will call with questions after being told, “Quiet night…” and will then ask about something they read on the blog. ; )

    The last proposal was over a year ago. There is slightly more on the net that we can use for reference and researching the topic again is how I found your site. We’ll see…I think that we are doing some good. Started up on Twitter a couple of weeks ago but it is mainly a relay of blog info. Facebook will be part of the proposal. Taking a page from Sacramento, we added a “just ask” button in an attempt to solicit interaction from the community. I would imagine that community involvement, communication, feedback, acceptance would all be dependant primarily on the City demographics, population, culture, and how well you sell your agency, just for starters.

  4. John Fulton

    I am a Sergeant with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department in Illinois. Three years ago I took over the position of Administrative Assistant to the Sheriff and was given the job of overhauling our original website. Ouch!

    It’s been an uphill battle to get our new site accepted within the department. I look at all of ‘our’ Web 2.0 endeavors as a way to build transparencey with the community. Not an easy task in a profession that has always kept the community in the dark.

    Fortunately the Sheriff trusts me enough to let me play online, try out new things, and if they don’t work then keep going. Without his support the command staff would have pulled the plug on this experiment before it ever got off the ground.

  5. Christa Miller Post author

    Good to “meet” you, Sgt. Fulton — thanks for the comment. So you chose to overhaul the original site with more of a blog format? Interesting — Scott did something similar with Portsmouth PD’s site, though he went with a magazine-style blog format.

    Do you mind if I ask what specific resistance you have encountered, and what kind of response has the community had to your efforts thus far?

  6. Sean

    Christa,

    I just discovered your wonderful resource here while doing research for a site I’m developing, PoliceDepartment.org. I am VERY interested in local LE’s adoption and use of social media. A big part of what I’m planning to achieve with some of the core features on the site is bridging that gap between:

    1.) Local LE’s need for being available online to the community without exposing the Department to the risks inherent in social media, and
    2.) the civilian’s desire to stay informed and connected to local police in a world where complete openness, instant access and immediate feedback is expected.

    I’d love to chat with you sometime about how best to strike that balance. I’m on twitter @policedept and you have my email address. I’d also encourage your readers to take our very brief survey to tell us what they’d like to see at PoliceDepartment.org/survey.

    Thanks again for a fantastic resource!

    –Sean

  7. Pingback: Cops 2.0 » Blog Archive » Case study: Researching community in Arcadia, Calif.

  8. David Bratzer

    Thanks for this much needed web site. I’m a Canadian police officer and while off-duty, in my spare time, I manage the blog for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (link above). Currently we’re publishing a multi-part series about police officers and free speech.

  9. Christa Miller Post author

    Thanks David! I read Part 1 and am really impressed, I just wrote a short series on standards but focused mainly on ethics — not legalities. I don’t want to steal Jay’s entire essay from you but perhaps some cross-promotion? Also are you personally on any other sites? (I know a LEAP representative was on CopsOnline some months ago.) Please let me know if you’d be interested to talk further.

  10. daBigKahuna aka ChrisD aka ???

    Aloha Christa,
    I think there’s enuff stuff Google has on me that the readers jest need to search for “Chris Duque” “HPD” “Honolulu”. Anything that’s positive IS me! All the negative postings refer to some other guy with my name.
    All kidding aside, I’m a retired Detective from Honolulu Police Department. I got out 3mos short of 30years. My last 22years was as a detective in Criminal Investigation Division. My first 6yrs was working in the Vice Division, semi-undercover. You can do the math and realize I have very little Uniform Patrol time.
    I got drawn into computer forensics and cyber-investigations in 1990 and never regretted the move.
    BTW, there’s no such thing as ‘retirement’ if you live in Hawaii! . And worse if you’ve spent most of your adult life working the streets as a cop, it’s very, very hard to hang it up.
    So, what do I do now?
    Some computer forensics, some cyber-investigations.
    Lotsa presentations to kids, parents, teachers, and seniors about cybersafety.
    And recently, working with Hawaii police officers wanting to enhance their effectiveness in their Community Policing endeavors using social media/networking.
    And taking life one step at a time ;)
    Mahalos & Be Safe!

  11. Christa Miller Post author

    Chris, I think you almost deserve your own page for being such a great supporter of Cops 2.0! Thanks so much for taking the time to post here. :) I found, actually, after just four short years as a law enforcement Explorer… that I had a hard time hanging it up too. Why I’m doing this and writing articles! Anything I can do to support your efforts, please let me know, and also tell me when you’re ready for me to post a case study up here on what you’re doing!

  12. Danny Church

    Christa,

    I found this blog through your LinkedIn profile which I found while doing some random searches.

    I’m a police officer in Quincy, MA. I’m also working on my M.Ed. in Instructional Design where, in one of my course, we are exploring ways to use Web 2.0 for designing training.

    Danny

  13. Christa Miller Post author

    Thanks Danny! I’m so glad you stopped by and took the time to comment. I’m interested in finding out more about your course. I’ve been reading a lot about how training is getting cut due to budget cuts. Tell me more about what you’re doing (email if you prefer)?

  14. rogernield

    Hi, I’m Roger Nield and am an officer with Surrey Police (one of the 43 Home Office forces in England and Wales) and have had the role of Safer Neighbourhood Inspector for the Borough of Runnymede for nearly 5 years.

    I’m a late entrant to social media joining Twitter for work purposes on the 6th of May 2010 following a presentation by the brilliant Nick Keane from the NPIA at a neighbourhood conference held in Surrey for the 11 borough policing teams to showcase their most amazing achievements in the previous 12 months.

    This conference was both a team building exercise as the force had only a month earlier moved from a geographical control model to a functional model in order to make us fit for the now current contaction of public spending.

    Runnymede showcased the BIZ: Our Boxing Inclusion Zone focussed on helping young folk in danger of exclusion from society. Visit us at http://boxinginclusionzone.com/

    I don’t know how it works in other countries but here in Surrey our neighbourhood teams are co-locating with local governement teams to help us work more effectively toether. My team co-located with Runnymede Boroguh Council and Surrey County Council staff two years ago and its been a blast! We really do get solutions and I’ve taken prisoners as a result. If you visit their site http://www.runnymede.gov.uk/portal/site/runnymede/ you will notice not only the new Runnymede Civic Centre but also the Runnymede Memorial. We (as partners) are starting to plan for the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta that will occur in the year 2015!
    If there are any aspect of policing you are interested in hearing about from an English perspective just let me know. I have a little experience in neighbourhood policing, public order work and interviewing vulnerable people.

    I came to this site via Twitter and reading the posts of the other contibutors!

    Thank you for reading my first post here!

    Roger (@rogernield2703)

  15. Christa Miller Post author

    Warmly welcoming you, Roger. We are indeed interested in hearing about policing from an English perspective — I was struck by your description of the move from a geographical control model to a functional model. In the United States, police too are facing contracted public spending.

    I would especially like to read a description of how you developed and marketed the BIZ, and how you are moving it forward especially in this economic climate. I’m also interested to know more about how police work in conjunction with local government teams — and public feedback about it.

    Please feel welcome to contribute anything at any time. Thank you for your interest!

  16. Erin Lapp

    Hey Crista I am a police officer in Illinois and also a student in a public relations class. We had to pick a blog to follow during the course of the semester that had to do with public relations and also something that your interested in. I came across your blog and was really interested by the information that was being posted. I decided to follow your blog for the next couple months for my class and hopefully interact with some other police officers. Thanks for the great site!- Erin

  17. Christa Miller Post author

    Hey Erin, thanks so much for finding, and following along! I very much appreciate your interest. You may also appreciate christammiller.com/blog, where I talk about PR and marketing for digital forensics firms. Tell me more — what degree program are you in, and what made you pick a PR class?

  18. Erin Lapp

    Hey Crista…I am currently a criminal justice major and will be graduating in May with my Bachelors. I was interested in taking this PR class because I have taken communications classes in the past and really enjoyed them. I was also interested in finding out exactly what the PR world is like. My police department has been going through some negotiations with the city and their PR individual has written some in correct things in the papers regarding the police department. I wanted to learn exactly what PR professionals do because I think I have only been exposed to the negative side.

  19. Cory Christensen

    Good day Christa! I enjoyed my visit to your site and have added it to my regular reading. I am a 22 year police officer and a Lieutenant in Colorado who is is in charge of our Investigations Division. I have 5 sergeants and 40 detectives under my command. I also have a BA in Communications/Public Relations and an MS in Organizational Studies. I currently teach communications for supervisors all over our state and have presented seminars nationally. I am always looking for better ways for law enforcement to communicate with our stakeholders as well as with each other. I look forward to learning even more from your site.

  20. Christa Miller Post author

    Cory, thanks for subscribing, and connecting! Was it anything specific that brought you here? Anything in particular you’re looking for me to cover? Also — I’m intrigued by your academic background, even as an Investigations Division commander. Do you also handle, or assist with, public information in your department?

  21. Tara

    Christa,
    I just wanted to thank you for putting up this site. I work for a company that markets technology to law enforcement and have been trying to instill the importance of social media to my superiors. It’s an uphill battle, but the resources you have (especially in the “Press” section of this website) are going to be invaluable.

    Thanks!

  22. Christa Miller Post author

    Thank you Tara! My paying work involves PR and marketing for companies, including helping them with social media. I have not seen too many vendors talking to their LE customers (or vice versa) on Twitter etc., though user forums seem pretty common (I say that anecdotally). Given that most agencies use these tools professionally/officially, what would be the value to you of interacting with them via social media, vs. more conventional user forums? What would be the value of interacting with other community members, such as media or politicians or citizens (whose license plates are being scanned)?

  23. Tara

    I think we would use social media either in lieu of or in addition to email blasts. Product announcement, special pricing, news, etc. More often than not, I think email blasts get deleted, at least if they are getting the message via Twitter or FB it’s “easier” for them to view. In the past few months I’ve been asked several times if we’re on Twitter or if we have a Facebook page.

  24. Christa Miller Post author

    Tara, I wouldn’t recommend replacing email altogether — it is still the most direct channel to your customers and prospective customers. Otherwise many may not be online at the same time as you’re tweeting, may miss your message in the stream… it’s not reliable enough for important messages. Twitter and Facebook will certainly help reinforce your message, and can be used in conjunction with email! But are not the end-all, be-all.

    What do your email clickthrough and open rates tell you? Perhaps your content, format or timing need to be shaken up a bit?

  25. Kirk Keyser

    Well, I just discovered your vast amount of information on social media and law enforcement and was happy to do so. I am a full time major crimes detective and the vice president of a company that was just launched, which will take the “social” aspect of the web into law enforcement like never before. The product PoliceArch (http://icparchway.com) was developed utilize the trends we all follow and combine them with all the great things that have never been placed on one platform.

    So, hats off to you and your writings! They are greatly appreciated and enjoyable to read! I look forward to comming back for more.

  26. Lisa Colombo

    Christine, thank you for your interesting blog. I am an Account Manager for a company that designs Police Records Management Software, “Precinct Connection”. Our product is very feature rich and extremely afforadable. I am interested in finding out more on using social media to expand our market. I am also interested in advertising in your blog if you have available space. thank you for your help. Lisa

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