Police departments around the country are struggling to understand how to communicate with the tools available to them and to the public. The digital landscape changes many tried and true rules and the departments that don’t keep up risk a disconnect with their communities.
That’s why I wrote this article for Ohio Police Chief magazine.
Communication with the community and media are critical to law enforcement. Social media offers agencies the opportunity to build strong and positive relationships with the public, which can contribute to crime prevention as well as improved citizen awareness during crisis.
Unfortunately, headlines often reflect the tragic outcomes when agencies and officers ignore their role in outreach and relationship building and community members instead act from distrust and fear of the police. Every agency must make community relations a core part of daily operations for agencies to benefit both routine operations and significant incidents.
Bad or non-existent relationships can lead to poor outcomes. A recent Gallup poll found that in the U.S. confidence in the police is the lowest in 22 years. It is no wonder there are recent incidents across the country of people being suspicious of police action.