Police use social media to dispel rumours, fight crimes

Next Story

US to globalise internet, but there is a catch

Initially, Lieutenant Chris Bolton, Chief of Staff for Oakland’s Chief of Police, could not see the benefits of using social media and even associated it with more risks than benefits.

However, his mindset took a 360-degree turn when One Goh, 43, entered Korean Christian school Oikos University carrying a .45-caliber handgun and murdered seven people before surrendering to police.

At that time, the Oakland Police Department only had one public information officer, in addition to Bolton. Using Twitter and Nixle, which is a public notification tool, the two officers spent the day giving out updates, sending emergency alerts and dispelling rumours.

The experience opened Bolton’s mind to the power of social media.

“That one crisis really changed my mind on how social media can be used as part of a public information strategy,” he said.

Now, the Oakland Police Department uses Nextdoor and Facebook in addition to Twitter and Nixle. They are not alone; social media has been embraced by various police departments across the country as a valuable tool to gather details from citizens, solve crimes and disperse emergency information.

In 2013, a social media survey from the International Association of Chiefs of Police showed that 96 per cent of police departments utilise social media in some capacity, while over 80 per cent indicated that it helped them solve crimes.

“It’s very energizing, I think, to be on social media from a police perspective,” said Lynn Hightower, Boise Police Department’s communications director.

“People can communicate with the police department; it’s no longer that 800-pound gorilla that no one knows how to communicate with.”

The Boise Police Department has been on social media since 2009.


Serial EEPROM 1024Kb (in 8 bit) 400Khz 24AA1025  USA genuine picture
Serial EEPROM 1024Kb (in 8 bit) 400Khz 24AA1025 USA genuine
Serial EEPROM 1024Kb (in 8 bit) 400Khz 24AA1025 24AA1025-I/P DIP8  x2  USA genui picture
Serial EEPROM 1024Kb (in 8 bit) 400Khz 24AA1025 24AA1025-I/P DIP8 x2 USA genui
AT28HC64L ATMEL High Speed CMOS EEPROM 28C64 E2PROM Tested NOS New Old Stock picture
AT28HC64L ATMEL High Speed CMOS EEPROM 28C64 E2PROM Tested NOS New Old Stock
MC68HC11E1CFN2  8-Bit-Mikrocontroller 512B RAM/512B EEPROM PLCC52  picture
MC68HC11E1CFN2 8-Bit-Mikrocontroller 512B RAM/512B EEPROM PLCC52
AT24CM01-XHM-B ATMEL integrated circuits SERIAL EEPROM 1M 2-WIR-8 TSSOP ic 100pc picture
AT24CM01-XHM-B ATMEL integrated circuits SERIAL EEPROM 1M 2-WIR-8 TSSOP ic 100pc