Law Enforcement on Facebook

March 2017

How are law enforcement agencies using social media to interact with their motor vehicle departments and/or their respective communities?

 

KYLE MOORE, GOVERNMENT MEDIA RELATIONS, WASHINGTON STATE HIGHWAY PATROL

As a law enforcement agency, we realize that the community is talking about us and our state agency partners on social media. We can either ignore their voices or be part of their conversation. Every day we receive messages from our customers looking for answers. It is our responsibility to serve our customers and to give them timely, responsive answers.

We share common public safety goals with our Department of Licensing and other transportation agencies in our state. We all look for ways to collaborate and support each other’s traffic safety activities and messages on social media to meet our state’s ambitious goal of zero traffic fatalities and zero serious injury fatalities by the year 2030. Social media is an important and useful tool for meeting this goal through public outreach and education.

 

OFFICER JACOB WILLIAMS, OFFICE OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND MEDIA RELATIONS, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL

The importance of the impact of social media [interactions] between law enforcement and the public cannot be overstated. These technological innovations not only provide the public with greater access to information and an intimate perspective of law enforcement operations, but they also allow law enforcement to hear and better understand its audience.

Disciplined and thoughtful engagement in social forums provides opportunities to educate the public and to support our officers when their conduct is justified and when it deserves acknowledgment and praise. These forums also give us opportunities to communicate our desire for self-assessment and willingness to learn from our inevitable human errors. We should always appreciate the need to follow up our words with actions, for our actions are what ultimately define us. As technology continues to evolve, the California Highway Patrol will utilize these advancements in communication to better serve the people of California.

 

KANSAS HIGHWAY PATROL

The Kansas Highway Patrol has been using Twitter since early 2010, and Facebook since 2011. The KHP expanded its efforts when it added a “Tweeting Trooper” from each field troop within the state in early 2014. The troopers tweet about laws, road closures and other pertinent traffic safety issues, along with some personal tweets to humanize law enforcement. Other agencies often partner with the Patrol to put out messages, hoping it will further their reach.

The more popular items the Patrol incorporates into tweets include weather information, road closures, recruitment and traffic law information. Social media platforms have allowed the KHP to tell its own story, versus relying on the media or others to tell it instead.