Monday, November 9, 2015
Use of Social Media by New York Police
The information and discussion with Mr. Jack about utilization of Social media by New York Police Department in the class today has been very interesting.
While initiating the discussion Mr Jack told that the hurricane Katrina really got people to understand the importance of social media in terms of communications. This opened eyes, as to how we can use social media as a great tool to communicate with the public in case of any emergency. It can also communicate the action being taken preparation in emergencies. It has been helpful to get a lot more cooperation from public.
In response to questions of Professor Mergel, he informed that Twitter (https://twitter.com/nyspolice) and Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/nyspolice) are used by the New York State Troopers for a lot of activities like highlights of police work, disseminating information about public safety, information about traffic jam and engaging the public online. The images of wanted criminals are posted on the Facebook page. The department’s Facebook page, also provides information and displays photographs of officers, police dogs and other department items. New York Police has a separate website also for state troopers which is commonly associated with highway patrol. However their duties extend far beyond the asphalt. The activities can be seen visiting website http://troopers.ny.gov/ .
In reply to the question of a student about providing limited information, he told that there are lots of concerns, sensitivity, confidentiality and privacy issues. Therefore, we cannot put all information on the social media. We want to engage public, but we do not want make any information unless it is verified. We do not tweet photos of evidence and limit the information to what can be officially released. But the new initiative will lead to more direct interaction with the public such as reporting suspicious activity or providing other tips. Sometimes, to engage public with Facebook and Twitter site of New York Police, some interesting material of blog like canine (related to dog training) is also posted.
In spite of budget constraints, Mr. Jack has taken commendable initiative to use social media tool as a primary platform for public awareness, single source for providing information to media, and creating a business intelligence. The experience shared by him during interactive session with Professor Mergel will help up in building social media plan for our organization.