Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dunwoody Police Department is a leader among the International Association of Chiefs of Police when it comes to Social Media

 2011 A Year in Review    IACP - The Social Media Beat

As I look back on our department’s use of social media in 2011, I believe we have come a long way. At the beginning of the year, almost all of the information being posted online was being generated by one person. As a result, timely information was not being posted as it should be which somewhat limited follower interaction with the department. We recognized this as a problem and have taken steps in 2011 to correct it.

Now, important information is consistently being posted. Our supervisors in Uniform Patrol are posting real time information of interest to our community. This has resulted in an exponential increase in community engagement. Our Community Outreach unit keeps our social media channels updated with our press releases and important crime prevention information and tips. All of these changes have contributed to significant growth in our use of social media, community interaction, and number of followers.

In 2011, we tried a number of social media experiments that helped our social media following grow and seemed to inspire community support as well. We tweeted all of our calls for a 24 hour period. This was our largest and most successful social media experiment. In addition, we sponsored a photo contest during the summer which garnered great community involvement. Lastly, we had a Tweet Along with an officer who tweeted all of his calls for his shift. Collectively, these experiments gave us great insight into what our followers are interested in and how we can better meet their needs.

Our social media goals at the beginning of the year were to increase those who follow us and increase the interaction between our department and community on our social media channels. We have achieved those goals. Along the way, we found that it is not always what you post that is most important but how you post it. Posting information using humor, recognizing the unusual situations to report on, and having the correct tone of our postings for our community were lessons learned in 2011.

As we look forward to 2012, I believe it will be the year of video for our department. We have received a grant from the Rotary Club of Dunwoody so we can purchase a quality HD video camera and sound equipment. Our goal in the coming year is to record PSA’s and other quality video that we can post on our various social media channels to make an even greater impact in our community.

Follow the Dunwoody Police at @DunwoodyPolice on Twitter and  on Facebook

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