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Social Media and the Future of Policing

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jennifer muffty

on 30 July 2013

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Transcript of Social Media and the Future of Policing

Benefits of social media
Drawbacks of social media
Certain uses of social media raises issues of breach of privacy
Technology has rapidly changed our way of life. Everything from the way we communicate to how we run businesses, it has become an essential part of our society.

The inclusion of online social media over the last decade has allowed users to connect to the rest of the world – provided they have access to the internet. Like the rest of the world, law enforcement across the globe has changed to accept the advances of technology and social mediums in order to serve and protect the public.

By accepting the shift to social media, law enforcement agencies have prospered in a time where budget cuts have raised issues about whether or not police officers are able to perform their duties.
The future
Law enforcement has adapted and evolved in order to suit the needs of the public. As social media has evolved, so has technology. Many mobile devices are capable of connecting to social media which allows for fast and effective communication with others.

It is hard to predict what the future will hold for social media and law enforcement. Technology will continue to rapidly change and social media will evolve to fit the demands of society. The capabilities of social media tools will only improve over time and might even give rise to new alternatives for law enforcement to utilize. This has changed the way traditional crimes were once performed such as burglaries and kidnapping and will also give rise to new threats to society. As a result, all law enforcement agencies from around the world will continue to adapt in order to serve and protect the people. Despite the current issues over privacy, the advantages of continued social media use have proven to be invaluable and will continue to outweigh the disadvantages.

Tracking Gangs through social media
Big brother or clever
crime fighting (37 mins)
Being a public service, a good reputation is critical with the community. They must tread carefully when sharing information with the public as well as maintain professionalism.
Police, undercover operatives, and their families can be exposed through social media and biometric software. Younger recruits are more susceptible to this kind of exposure due to potentially frequent use prior to recruitment.
Allowing comments/posts from the public can lead to trolling, flaming, shaming, and spam. This includes abusive or defamatory responses from the public, and false reporting
In Fort Wayne, Indiana police were notified of a double murder/suicide via Facebook from a friend of the murderer that was 2,200 miles away in Washington State. The killer posted a status on his Facebook page asking people to call 911 and stated “I’ve killed Ryann, Erin, and myself” (Vollmer, 2011, para. 15)

Vollmer, A. (2011). Police alerted to double murder/suicide by Facebook reader. Law Enforcement Today. Retrieved from http://lawenforcementtoday.com/category/police-and-social-media/

Full story here at CTV News: http://www.ctvnews.ca/police-alerted-to-indiana-deaths-by-facebook-post-1.739548

Digital wanted posters
Amber alerts
Alerts about suspects in the area
Environmental and other hazards
Public involvement including crime reporting
Enables alerts for the community to protect the safety of the public, catching suspects, finding missing persons, etc.
Drug and alcohol awareness
Bully and cyberbullying
Internet safety and awareness
Crime prevention
Personal and environmental safety
Road safety
Special events
Allows the police to educate, advertise and promote initiative programs for the public.
Use of social media can be a tool to collect information about crimes such as surveillance footage and information, social media evidence linked to crimes, and monitoring potential threats to the public.
Establishing a strong relationship with the community through effective communication
Photo of Boston Marathon bombing suspect released to social media outlets
Vancouver riot after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup
Boca Raton uses social media to capture burgulars
Social Media related Crime
Identity theft
Tracking police activity
Exploiting their deeds
Planning burglaries and heists
Creating false identities
Social Media and the Future of Policing
By Jennifer Muffty and Ben Hoang
Engages the community to get involved
Public communication shows the human side of policing
Reach much larger number of people with detailed information or requests for assistance
Reaches a broader population including the younger generation more effective than traditional methods
Keeps the community up to date on police matters and events
Officer fired for online remarks
A single officer's actions can affect the agency's reputation as a whole
Positive image can be tarnished with a single incident
Everyone is watching
Alerting police through social media
Follow your local law enforcement agency on social media today and become part of the community. Protect yourself, your loved ones, your neighborhood. Who knows, one day your involvement might help make a difference!
Image from: http://www.freshegg.com/blog/8094_8094
Image courtesy of: http://www.statetechmagazine.com/article/2012/08/how-police-are-using-social-media-infographic
Image from: http://www.russellwebster.com/police-and-social-media-where-next/
Image from: http://www.impactlab.net/2012/03/19/social-media-role-in-police-investigations-growing/
Image from: http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/73319-police-are-monitoring-key-activists-online-the-next-big-thing-in-law-enforcement
Image from: http://crisiscommscp.blogspot.ca/2013/04/social-media-digital-volunteers.html
Image from: http://newamericamedia.org/2011/06/a-social-media-riot-made-for-tv.php
Image from: http://smedio.com/2011/07/05/social-spam-hackers-to-kill-social-media/
Image from: http://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/living-among-us
4 out of 5 officers use social media for investigative purposes
Others use social media for crime tips, community outreach, recruitment and notifying the public
Research has shown over 80 percent of officers use social media (90% female, over 80% male)
Image from: http://dailyinfographic.com/law-enforcement-meets-social-media-infographic
Controversy and outlook
Image from: http://dailyinfographic.com/law-enforcement-meets-social-media-infographic
Full transcript