Law enforcement officials have always faced a balancing act when it comes to their public image, needing to appear tough (on the bad guys) but helpful and friendly (to law-abiding citizens). Social media can help with both tasks, as well as facilitate important functions like disseminating information to the public during emergencies, posting alerts for missing children or fugitives, and so on.
With that in mind, social media agency Maximize Social Media is launching a new vertical practice targeting the law enforcement community, aiming to help expand law enforcement organizations’ presence and engagement on social media. This includes Facebook Timeline design and integration, Twitter management, and other social media platforms. Maximize will also manage Facebook advertising for agencies to build their local followings.
Chris McLaughlin, CEO of Maximize Social, stated: “At a time when government officials are looking to save money and improve communication, those officials that have taken the leap into social media have found it to be a very effective tool that is extremely cost effective.”
A number of law enforcement organizations across the country are already using social media for community outreach as well as preventing and investigating crimes. In the past I’ve written about the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Transit Police setting up a Twitter and Facebook tip line; a YouTube channel highlighting “video villains” set up by the Philadelphia Police Department; and the formation of a social media unit by the New York City Police Department, focusing on gang crime, among other things.
Local police departments around the country are also using Facebook posts to name and shame drunk drivers and other miscreants. And earlier this year the FBI announced it wants to develop an early warning system for domestic and global threats drawing on information from social networks.