Web 2.0: A Community Policing Strategy

Web 2.0: A Community Policing Strategy

Social Media and Police: Technology Uses and Challenges Melchor C. de Guzman Ronald D. Hunter Georgia Gwinnett College Lawrenceville, GA November 6, 2015 Background Social media are becoming the dominant communication media (Trottier, 2012) Social media are becoming more popular tools for public agencies Federal agencies aggressive (22 out of 24 major agencies) (Wilshusen, 2010) Police lag in Web 2.0 usage (Stevens, 2010) and the internet (Jones & de Guzman, 2010) Social media could be a community policing tool IACP recommendations

Social media create communities (Scheier, 2010; Smith, 2008) Link police and citizens (Stevens, 2010) Co-produce safety (Osimo, 2008; Spizman & Miller, 2013) Social media could be tools to counter bad press (Schulenberg & Chenier, 2014) Research Questions To what extent are social media applications being currently utilized by police agencies? How do police agencies use social media applications? Methods Content analysis of police department websites Sample: US police departments employing 250 or more police officers Data sources: LEMAS and Websites Coded usage of social media based on IACP (2010) recommendations Results Social Media Usage by Police Departments, 2010 vs

2015 (N=163) Year 2010 Social Media Applications Year 2015 n Percent n Percent 41 25.2 145 88.9 Presents Videos 26 16 145 100.0 Press Releases 30 18.4

145 100.0 Recruitment 28 17.2 145 100.0 20 12.3 145 100.0 Crime solver 15 9.2 145 100.0 Community Outreach 13

8.0 123 75.5 14 8.6 25 15.3 Recruitment 3 5.2 25 100.0 Community Outreach 12 85.7 15 60.0 Crime Prevention 8

57.1 23 92.0 Crime Solver 7 50.0 12 48.0 41 25.3 133 81.6 Press Releases 38 92.7 133 100.0 Road Closure/Weather Information

24 58.5 133 100.0 Crime Solver 26 63.4 101 75.9 Recruitment 11 26.8 133 100.0 Community Outreach 35 85.4 35 21.4

29 12.3 135 82.8 25 15.3 99 73.3 2 1.2 6 4.4 Crime Solver 11 6.7 127 94.0 Recruitment

6 3.7 78 57.8 Community Outreach 17 10.4 34 25.9 Facebook Road Closure/Weather Information Agency Blog Twitter You Tube Press Releases Road Closure/Weather Information Best Practices Police departments have greatly utilized social media for emergencies and information dissemination Social media have been more useful for recruitment Social media have been used more often

for crime solving Policing has become interactive that resulted in greater information sharing Challenges Use of social media for community policing remains scant Community engagement is minimal Language One way communication Community agenda setting Blogging remains a challenge Crime prevention Police legitimacy Smaller departments lag behind compared to bigger departments Conclusion Police have greatly improved their social media presence Future research directions Contribution of police media to policing goals Utility of social media for police performance Acceptability of social media as a policing tool Thank You!

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