Whats to come in 2016 for Social Media & Law Enforcement

2015 has been a phenomenal year for for Social Media and Law Enforcement involvement. #LESM has grown by leaps and bounds. The number of law enforcement agencies that have joined social media as a means to communicate, engage and entertain their communities is at an all time high. It doesn't matter if your agency uses Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, SnapChat, Nextdoor, Instagram, Pinterest or any number of other social
media platforms out there. What does matter, what is important to remember is having a plan. 

Not just pushing content that isn't important to your fans or followers. It is imperative on #LESM to put out content that covers all the basics. Not just the police blotter, but to engage the community into interaction, to humanize officers and the agency to the public and to put out timely notice during critical incidents to get the information that the public desperately needs.

As the need for information becomes more imperative in particular when there are incidents of active shooters or natural disasters, the public turns to those organizations/agencies that are talking, i.e., pushing out content that is relative. The terrorist attack in San Bernadino showed that putting out timely information, notifications to the public and guidance made a difference to the public. Law Enforcement can no longer rely on the news media to put out crisis alerts quickly. Social media access people far quicker than the news media, as a matter of fact, if law enforcement pushes something out via social media then they will re-tweet, share or re-post it. Expanding your reach, then simply relying up the media to post it, hoping the public will see, follow or hear the news media's notification. If your agency is engaging via social media the public will follow you during "normal" times, and get your alerts during a crisis.

Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs, and Elected Officials must see the value of your social media team, your Public Information Officer and provide them with the needed access and information so they can provide it quickly to the public.

Crisis communication, Social Media Emergency Management #SMEM will continue to be a growing area of expansion for both law enforcement, emergency management agencies and emergency medical services.  

Train your staff, educate them and get the buy in to the use of social media beyond just a fade, make it part of the operational function of your agency. 


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