General Question

Warpstone's avatar

How can police use social media to help the public?

Asked by Warpstone (149points) June 2nd, 2009

Interesting: our local police detachment is asking us what social media techniques they can take advantage of to help the public. Good question, but I don’t have any useful advice to give them. Any suggestions? It would be cool to have a police force that’s cutting edge.

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7 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

A community blog would be a great idea, letting the public have a peek behind the scenes (appropriately) or in the mind of an officer, and facilitating a conversation between the officers and the public. A blog is very easy to set up and once a policy regarding posts being approved prior to displaying is established, there is relatively little risk and potentially lots of rewards. You could include a page with resources, phone numbers to call etc, that would be beneficial to the public.

SirBailey's avatar

Facebook or any photo-posting site to tell the locals to be on the lookout for certain individuals who have committed a crime, or pictures of children who are missing, or photos of stolen cars, lost pets, etc.

vmj's avatar

Finnish police force has done the same. They have people who contribute to the online community, for example IRC Gallery (

It’s enough that they just are there. Ready to be talked to. It is beneficial that people know who they are and know they are there as policemen, and you can go chat with them.

basp's avatar

Our local newspaper partnered with law enforcement to publish interactive crime maps on line with a mechinism to report crimes on line.

DarkScribe's avatar

Twitter is an obvious one, it doesn’t rely on people logging onto a site to get news updates.

Judi's avatar

facebook pages with communities most wanted pics, warnings of prevalent Internet scams, identity theft info etc.
Place to report non emergency complaints like grafitti, (Maybe even post pictures.)

Warpstone's avatar

Hi everyone, thanks for your responses. I basically pointed them to this page in my reply. Unfortunately, I don’t think they quite “got it”. I think their initial enthusiasm has waned as they realized that this takes a lot of commitment. Hopefully, they push on and atleast provide a presence online. I would like to be able to friend my police :)

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