I spent several days last week at the Social Media Internet Law Enforcement conference in Dallas last week. It was a good conference with lots of really wonderful folks who are using social media to help their agency's communicate with the citizens they serve.
In a similar vein, the International Association of Chief's of Police is also pushing the use of social media through their Center For Social Media website. The IACP Describes their social media initiative this way:
In partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, the IACP launched its Center for Social Media in October 2010. The goal of the initiative is to build the capacity of law enforcement to use social media to prevent and solve crimes, strengthen police-community relations, and enhance services. IACP’s Center for Social Media serves as a clearinghouse of information and no-cost resources to help law enforcement personnel develop or enhance their agency’s use of social media and integrate Web 2.0 tools into agency operations.
The site has lots of good information for the law enforcement agency looking to get into and use social media effectively. There is even social media training being offered at the IACP Conference in Chicago later this month.
In case you are wondering about how popular social media has become in or out of law enforcement, there's this article over at the New York Times about the rise in popularity of Mashable, a website devoted just to news about social media.
Is your agency using social media to get it's message out? Are you on social media personally?