Police Use Social Media: Break Barriers, Build Trust

April 14, 2009 at 9:58 am Leave a comment


Posted by Amy Looper, Co-Founder & Chief Engagement Officer

I saw last week where Facebook’s membership is now 200 million strong, but what caught my eye as I read through Mark Zuckerberg’s post was where they have created a space for people to share their stories of how Facebook has “helped them give back to their communities [and] effect change.” The story of a Toronto Constable Scott Mills, who is using new media to prevent as well as solve crimes among youth, is a particularly a worthy read. 

The story was originally reported in the Montreal Gazette and pointed out that at a recent South African Interpol Conference, 170 law enforcement delegates from 70 countries gathered to talk about tracking international fugitives. Constable Scott Mills presented how he is using social media tools and his 1,700 Facebook “friends” to reach out to youth and to encourage them to report potential crimes before they happen.

 It’s working.   Among a number of successes listed in the article, it was reported that his YouTube video appeals have had more than 1.4 million views since February of 2007. He has trained an additional 30 officers assigned to Toronto schools on how to use new media to engage teens. He’s also joined online memorial groups for murder victims offering condolences as well as contact information to send anonymous tips.

 This is a huge “doing good” story that I’d love to see replicated here in the States. It’s reaching out in a way that meets kids in their technology based culture to provide a bridge for them to do the right things as well. 

We’d like to hear your stories of kids who you know that are doing good with social media.

(Image found here)

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Entry filed under: Communication, Doing Good, News, Opportunities, Relationships, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Youth. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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