Law Enforcement And Social Media Usage An Analysis Of Engagement

InterServer Web Hosting and VPS

As law enforcement agencies continue to invest in social media, they face growing pressure to share more information and connect with the public. However, as this data is shared, it can be difficult to determine whether or not it’s being used effectively. In this article, we will explore some of the most common issues that law enforcement officials face when sharing social media content and how they hope to address them in the near future.

Law Enforcement And Social Media Usage An Analysis Of Engagement

Social media use by law enforcement agencies has been on the rise in recent years. Given that engaging with the community online has shown significant impact for businesses, there is reason to believe that law enforcement agencies will also benefit from this type of media use. However, success with social media is contingent upon user engagement. Research on law enforcement agencies’ social media use is limited, and examinations of community engagement with law enforcement via social networking sites such as Facebook are non-existent.

Social Media as a Civic Engagement Tool (and more!) for Law Enforcement 

Social media is a form of ‘owned’ media, meaning it allows users to ‘own’ their narrative, which is exactly what the California city above did. By including updates about their department’s K9 units, holiday activities, and departmental changes, as well as by thanking the community for their participation in community events, they managed to humanize the department, include the community, and encourage conversation—which is the key to good social media use by law enforcement. Perhaps most importantly, the ability to put a face to officers of a department reminds community members that officers are residents too, working to serve and protect their community.

In addition to humanizing the department, the use of social media by law enforcement agencies enables them to shape emerging narratives and communicate directly with the public, rather than rely on external outlets to cover events, which could potentially have disastrous consequences. As with the California city in question, updates about crimes and investigations or calls for assistance with missing persons can show the public a commitment to serving them, to considering them as partners in the community, and to keeping their best interests at heart.

But law enforcement social media isn’t just about the narrative: agencies can target their communications and broaden their outreach through social media, connecting with citizens, spreading knowledge quickly and with minimal effort, and working together with their community.

We’ve seen time and time again in the Zencity data, the positive impact social media can have on the relationship between law enforcement agencies and their communities. While police have increasingly been reaching out via social media, accordingly, residents have been responsive to these communications. Americans have begun using police social media channels as a platform to voice their criticism, support, and demand for policy changes, and a major shift has taken place – where conversation is no longer just about police, but also occurring with police.

Law enforcement agencies across the US are working hard to rebuild trust among their community members. By leveraging channels residents already trust for open communication—like social media—law enforcement officials can improve transparency and inclusivity, gauge public perception in real-time, and understand discourse around the topics and events that matter most to residents.

The State of Law Enforcement Social Media Usage

As the number of law enforcement officers grows, so too does the need for social media tools to communicate with those in law enforcement. In 2019, social media was used by law enforcement agencies to share information, photos, and videos related to the work they do. Many agencies are using social media to connect with the public, share lessons learned during investigations, and provide support during interacting with the public.

ALSO READ:   Instagram Photo Editing Apps

The use of social media by law enforcement has been increasing over time. Between 2007 and 2019, the number of police departments that reported using social media increased from 18 to 41. The use of social media by law enforcement is not just limited to Law Enforcement agencies- other types of organizations such as fire departments and ambulances also frequently use social media for communication purposes.

There are a few reasons why law enforcement agencies are using social media more often:

1) Law enforcement organizations want to be able to keep up with changes in technology and how people interact with technology;

2) As laws become more complex and nuanced, it becomes increasingly difficult for officers to cover all potential areas of inquiry;

3) Officers feel that online resources can help them better understand their duties as well as support their interactions with citizens.

What Are the Issues with Law Enforcement Social Media Usage

There are a few potential issues that officers may face when using social media:

1) Officers may be using social media for personal purposes, which can put them in violation of policy;

2) Officers may be sharing sensitive information that could lead to criminal charges;

3) Officers may be using social media to settle disputes or grievances.

Can social media help law enforcement increase trust?

As law enforcement agencies work to bridge a growing trust gap with community members, police departments have identified the importance of transparent, two-way communication and are increasingly turning to social media as a way to hear from residents. At Zencity, we’ve been measuring trends in citizen engagement with law enforcement, as well as attitudes towards policing across the country, in order to help law enforcement agencies improve community relationships. Below are some of the key trends we’ve identified, along with ideas for how law enforcement agencies can utilize social media to build trust.

Social media is increasing direct dialogue with law enforcement

Through data analysis we ran earlier this year, we found that in big cities where police communications are often more robust, monthly engagement with police departments on social media has more than doubled since last summer. Not surprisingly, this comes with a 101% increase in proactive police communications – meaning police are also amping up their social media game.

This shows that when law enforcement agencies use their social media channels to engage, residents are ready to engage back, demonstrating the potential role open channels like social media platforms can play in helping to bridge the public trust gap between law enforcement agencies and their communities.

Most law enforcement agencies are using social media

Many (and in fact the majority) of law enforcement agencies in the United States have a social media presence. Social media can be a useful tool in helping to advance the benefits of community policing by humanizing law enforcement officers, disseminating timely information, and directly engaging with citizens. The most popular social platform, being used by 94% of law enforcement agencies, is Facebook, followed by Twitter at 71%, and YouTube at 40%.

Using official law enforcement social media accounts to drive positive sentiment

How can social media be used to improve relations between police departments and the community? One major California Police Department has the answer. After reevaluating their communications strategy and online presence, the police department of one major California city went from generating 16% negative sentiment from online discourse, to 22% positive sentiment. 

ALSO READ:   Social Media Marketing Measurement Metrics

An analysis of the leading drivers of positive sentiment towards the department showed that they included: 

  • Official PD posts thanking the community for their cooperation and assistance in locating missing persons 
  • The National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in January, which generated a significant amount of positive buzz in just one day
  • Updates about crimes and investigations, which included many grateful comments by residents responding to the Department’s Human Trafficking Unit interview room held at the beginning of March
  • The Department’s holiday greetings and related activities
  • Departmental announcements about personnel changes, including congratulating new Forensic Investigators, Community Service Officers, and Sergeants 
  • Updates and pictures of the department’s K9 units

So what did this California city’s police department do right to drive positive sentiment?

How to Use Law Enforcement Social Media to Improve Your Practice

There are a variety of law enforcement social media platforms, each with its own purposes and limitations. While many agencies use these platforms to share news, information, photos, and videos about their work, there are also a number of uses for these platforms that can be more productive.

Some examples of the various types of law enforcement social media platforms include:

-Facebook: Facebook is often used by law enforcement to communicate with the community and solicit feedback. This platform can be used to share photos and videos of arrests or events, as well as provide updates on developments in the criminal justice system.

-Twitter: Twitter is popular among law enforcement officials to share information about crime scenes or incidents in the community. This platform can also be used to post reaction shots from people who have been affected by an event or crime.

-Google Maps: Google Maps is frequently used by law enforcement officials as a source ofmaping information. This platform can be used to post real-time crime reports or maps of areas where crime has occurred.

-YouTube: YouTube is often used by law enforcement officials to upload video recordings from incidents or court hearings. This platform can also be used for film production purposes.

– Email: Email is often used by law enforcement officials as a way to communicate with citizens and keep them up-to-date on their police services. This platform can also be used for advertising and marketing purposes.

Use Law Enforcement Social Media to Promote Your Cause

While it’s important for agencies to use social media platforms in a positive way, it’s also important for officers to work together towards common goals. For example, if one officer is tasked with promoting officer safety on social media, they must work together with other officers in order to make sure all messages are tenant in mind when composing posts or using hashtags#safe #justice #community policing).

Use Law Enforcement Social Media to Get feedback from Your community

Another useful function of law enforcement social media is getting feedback from your community members about how you’re performing your job#safety #justice #community policing). By soliciting input from citizens, you can learn what works best for your agency and increase the chances that your message will reach its intended audience.

Use Law Enforcement Social Media to Increase Your Street Presence

Many agencies are now using law enforcement social media sites to increase their street presence. This can be accomplished by posting photos and videos of officers on the streets, as well as getting involved in local community events. By doing this, you can create asense of legitimacy and trust among your constituents and encourage them to approach your agency with questions or suggestions.

ALSO READ:   Law Enforcement Monitoring Of Social Media

Tips for Using Law Enforcement Social Media to Improve Your Practice

A key part of being a successful law enforcement officer is being able to communicate with the public. By using social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, you can build an audience that will support your case and encourage others to learn more about your work.

By sharing information about your case in a variety of ways, you can increase public interest and anticipation for what might happen next. You can also use social media to create awareness for important issues facing law enforcement, such as hate crimes or corruption.

In order to effectively use social media for the purposes of promoting your organization, it’s important to have a clear mission statement and strategy. Additionally, be sure to update your website regularly with new content and events related to your work. Finally, make sure that all posts are easily searchable by users across various devices.

Use Law Enforcement Social Media to Increase public interest in your case

In order for potential victims of crime or corruption to be aware of what you’re doing and support you politically, you need to make sure they have access to information about your cases. You can use law enforcement social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) to share information about investigations and updates on the progress of the case. Additionally, you can post photos or videos of evidence or suspects in order to generate interest in these stories and bring attention to the issue at hand.

Use Law Enforcement Social Media to Increase public support for your cause

Likewise, it’s important for law enforcement officers who want public opinion on their side to take advantage of online platforms like Twitter and Instagram. By sharing positive newsworthy articles or videos about your profession while on these sites, you can open up dialogue with potential supporters who may not otherwise be interested in learning more about law enforcement issues. Additionally, by using social media platforms as a tool for marketing purposes, you can reach out directlyto potential donors or partners who may be interested in helping out with your cause.

In order to effectively use social media for the purposes of promoting your organization, it’s important to have a clear mission statement and strategy. Additionally, be sure to update your website regularly with new content and events related to your work. Finally, make sure that all posts are easily searchable by users across various devices.

Use Law Enforcement Social Media to Increase public support for your organization

Finally, you can use law enforcement social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) to connect with potential donors or partners who may be interested in helping out with your cause but may not know where to start. By sharing photos or videos of evidence or suspects in order to generate interest in these stories and bring attention to the issue at hand, you can reach out directlyto potential donors or partners who may be interested in working on your cause but don’t know where to start.

Conclusion

Law enforcement social media is a powerful tool used by law enforcement to improve their practice and protect the public. However, there are a few things that can go wrong with law enforcement social media usage. By understanding the different types of law enforcement social media, using them correctly, and improving your practice, you can increase your success in this field.

Leave a Comment