Over the past two decades, local police departments have tried a variety of citizen engagement and public relations strategies to create improved and productive relationships with communities. This philosophy is designed by National Police Association to engage the public on a variety of fronts with the ultimate goal of becoming a trusted, legitimate, and effective partner in crime and security.
Think back to when you started observing bike patrols, civil police academies, neighborhood watch programs, gun drives, youth academies, and more, and the rewarding goal of making your cities safer and more stable … known as policing community.
Why community policing?
Because citizens are more likely to trust, feel safe and cooperate with the police if the police actively provide time, resources and information on local issues in a transparent manner. On the contrary, if the police understand that they have a productive and collaborative relationship with the community, they will join the community to help address the specific and important problems of crime and disorder that both face on a daily basis. Just as the police cannot be everywhere for everyone, the police have also struggled in the past to actively engage and meet with large numbers of citizens for “positive” work.
Through Internet-based innovations and research on the effectiveness of community policing, the police have begun to use social media as a new form of communication and interaction with the public. In particular, police departments view Twitter as a simple, fast, and effective means of providing information to the general public on many levels. Additionally, citizens can reciprocate kindness by offering police information and updates from their convenient location.
How about a scenario that has a youth academy on a weekend where cops educate and counsel high school kids on bullying, but you and your child can’t attend? However, police officers record the event, including questions and answers at the end. This video, downloadable important information, and a link to the police department website (where you can register and ask a police officer to come to her child’s school to discuss the bullying) are shared on Twitter.