Law Enforcement Technology

NOV 2016

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36 LAW ENFORCEMENT TECHNOLOGY NOVEMBER 2016 www.officer.com TA L K IN G P O IN T S ADVANCEMENTS IN TECH By Patrick Clancy Patrick Clancy is the vice president of law enforcement for LoJack Corporation and founder of the #PASS (Protect And Ser ve Stories) campaign. Patrick previously ser ved as a sergeant with the Medfield (Mass.) Police Depar tment. A n officer changed a tire for a Texas woman stuck on the side of the road. A deputy in Michigan found a missing dog, and brought him back to the sta- tion to care for him personally until the owners were located. An off-duty officer from Colorado purchased food and clothing for a woman and child in need, out of pocket. These instances demonstrate the essence of the law enforcement profession. We are taught to protect and serve, in whatever form that may take. We are inspired to give back in order to create a more cohesive community. The many acts of kindness performed by officers deserve to be recognized and praised, however they generally do not make news headlines. But this is a situation law enforcement officials are starting to change personally through technology, and in particular, social media. Social media is one of the most effective ways to spotlight these community policing stories and promote transparency and trust within the community. Social media. Who's using it? Ten years ago, just 7 percent of the U.S. population used one or more social media platforms. Now, 76 percent of Americans who have access to the Internet utilize social media sites. In addition to the sheer number of people using social, there's also an emerging trend where an increasing number are seeking out news information via social media. A 2016 Pew Research Center study found the major- ity of U.S. adults (62 percent) get their news from social media, with 18 percent responding that they do so often. In the law enforcement sphere, activity on social media is not a new phenomenon, but more law enforce- ment officials are considering it now more than ever before. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) 2015 Social Media Survey Results, 73.9 percent of responding agencies not currently using social media were considering adopt- ing it. Internet connectivity and mobile technology are more accessible than ever, and the vast majority of social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram are free and can be easily downloaded. The number of officers who feel comfort- able using social media has also risen sharply with the rapid advancement of technology. In 2014, according to the report "Social Media Use in Law Enforcement" by Lexis Nexis, "Three quarters of law enforcement profes- sionals [were listed as] very comfortable using Spotlight on community policing: The many acts of kindness performed by officers deserve to be recognized and praised, however they generally do not make news headlines. But this is a situation law enforcement officials are starting to change personally through technology, and in particular, social media. Editor's note: To share #PASS related content or photos on social media, tweet the author (@PWClancy) using the hashtag #PASS, or tag LoJack on Facebook or Instagram. social media, showing a seven percent increase over 2012 despite a decrease in availability of formal training." Twenty-five percent of law enforcement professionals used it daily in 2014, compared with 16 percent in 2012. There are also a number of tools available to assist officers in learning more about getting involved, includ- ing the IACP Center for Social Media. Communicating with the community One of the most impactful applications of social media is its use to connect with the com- munity directly, by communicating news and showcasing the day-to-day activities of officers. Social media can help departments dispel the

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