Nine out of ten police departments in the United States are now using some form of social media to combat crime, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (reported by the Associated Press). We think it’s a great idea and support this important step.
The uses of social media are many. For those of us in the security industry, we can share information on new products and services more quickly, and to targeted distribution. Here at SIAC, we use our blog and Twitter feed to post our followers on useful information to help their business improve alarm management practices and improve their bottom line.
What is most heartening about this trend in the law enforcement community is the success of tools such as CodeRED and Nixle. Nixle, for example, allows police departments to send out alerts and advisories to subscribers citywide or just to a specific neighborhood within a quarter mile radius. It’s targeted policing, and holds extra promise in crisis situations, like tornadoes, wildfires or major violent crimes.
Other tools, like Amber Alerts, Facebook and Twitter, have also proven useful in more quickly apprehending criminals. Our industry should continue to work closely with law enforcement to utilize social media. It’s a natural partnership for us.
We can use Twitter to retweet important police messages. For those security companies on Facebook or LinkedIn, we can share special broadcasts by police to help get the word out quickly and more thoroughly on an important community issue. Look for these opportunities. As the electronic security industry builds its linkage to law enforcement, we all help meet the mutual goal of improved public protection.