by KD Kim · 2017 · Cited by 29 — Background. Social media use has grown rapidly among police departments, which use the technology to improve community relations, gather ,

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ABOUT THE URBAN INSTITUTE The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence -based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector. ABOUT THE INTERNATIO NAL ASSOCIATION OF C HIEFS OF POLICE The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is a professional association for law enforcement worldwide. For more than 120 years, the IACP has been launching internationally acclaimed programs, speaking on behalf of law enforcement, cond ucting groundbreaking research, and providing exemplary programs and services to members across the globe. Today, the IACP continues to be recognized as a leader in these areas. By maximizing the collective efforts of the membership, IACP actively support s law enforcement through advocacy, outreach, education, and programs. Through ongoing strategic partnerships across the public safety spectrum, the IACP provides members with resources and support in all aspects of law enforcement policy and operations. These tools help members perform their jobs effectively, efficiently, and safely while also educating the public on the role of law enforcement to help build sustainable community relations. Copyri ght © February 2017. Urban Institute. Permission is granted for reproduction of this file, with attribution to the Urban In stitute. Cover image by Edward Mohr .

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Contents Acknowledgments iv Survey Highlights v Introduction 1 Background 1 Method 1 Agency Characteristics 2 Social Media Use 2 Social Media Management 5 Tone o n Social Media 9 Barriers to the Successful Use of Social Media by Agencies 11 Social Media Needs 11 Closing Remarks 13 About the Au thors 14 Statement of Independence 15

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IV ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Acknowledgments This report was the result of work completed by both the Urban Institute and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) . In particular , we would like to thank Lieutenant Zach Perron of the Palo Alto Police Department, Emily Tiry and Sam Bieler from the Urban Institute, and Tracy Phillips and Rebecca Stickley from IACP. The survey also included a number of questions that were previously featured in IACP, LexisNexis, and Socialstrat su rveys. For more information about the survey, please e -mail .

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SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS V Survey Hi ghlights Law enforcement a gencies use social media for a wide variety of purposes. Reportedly, 91 percent use it to notify the public of safety concerns, 89 percent use the technology for community outreach and citizen engagement, 86 percent use it for public relations and reputation management, and 59 percent have contact ed a social media company ( e.g. , Facebook or Twitter) to obtain information to use as evidence. Agencies have a wide range of experience using social media . Approximately 5 percent of departments have us ed social media for over a decade, and a similar percentage adopted it only within the last year. Agencies use very dif ferent tones on social media. Of those surveyed, 29 percent always or almost always use an informal tone, 45 percent sometimes use an informal tone, and 26 percent almost never or never use an informal tone . Public information officers are the people most often in charge of managi ng agency social media accounts. This respons ibility is also given to a wide range of other people , such as community policing officers or civilian personnel, depending on the department . Of the agencies surveyed, 55 percent have content approved by a central group before being posted online and 44 percent do not . Some of the greatest barriers faced b y agencies using social media are adapting to new trends, measuring the impact of their use of the technology, and training personnel to use social media effectively. How long an agency has us ed social media is not a significant factor in d etermining how they use the technology . However , agency size is correlated with different outcomes for who is responsible for managing the agency™s online presence and the tone used in online posts .

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2 2016 ANNUAL SOCIAL M EDIA S URVEY Agency Characteristics Agencies that responded to the survey represent a di verse sample of departments. Most participating agencies serve smal l- to medium -sized jurisdictions, have less than 50 full -time officers , and are local police departments . Sheriff ™s offices , university police agencies, and highway and state patrols are also represented . The responding departments came from all regions of the United States. The tables below show the characteristics of participating agencies . Jurisdiction population Percent age Count Under 2,499 5% 25 2,500 Œ9,999 25% 133 10,000 Œ24,999 25% 134 25,000 Œ99,999 29% 157 100,000 Œ999,999 14% 78 1,000,000 or more 2% 12 Agency size by full -time sworn personnel Percent age Count 1Œ9 9% 51 10Œ24 28% 150 25Œ49 21% 113 50Œ99 17% 94 100Œ499 18% 95 500 or more 7% 36 Agency type Percent age Count Local police 90% 487 Sheriff ™s office 5% 27 University 3% 16 State 1% 5 National or foreign a 1% 4 Note: Two Canadian agencies responded to the survey. Agency region a Percent age Count Northeast 22% 117 Midwest 30% 161 South 28% 153 West 19% 103 Notes: The Northeast states were Connecticut , Maine , Massachusetts , New Hampshire , New Jersey , New York , Pennsylvania , Rhode Island, and Vermont. The Midwest states were Illinois , Indiana , Iowa , Kansas , Michigan , Minnesota , Missouri , Nebraska , North D akota , Ohio , South Dakota , and Wisconsin. The South states were Alabama , Arkansas , Delaware , the District of Columbia , Florida , Georgia , Kentucky , Louisiana , Maryland , Mississippi , North Carolina , Oklahoma , South Carolina , Tennessee , Texas , Virginia , and West Virginia. The West states were Alaska , Arizona , California , Colorado , Hawaii , Idaho , Montana , Nevada , New Mexico , Oregon , Utah , Washington , and Wyoming.

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2016 ANNUAL SOCIAL M EDIA SURVEY 3 Social Media Use Respondents were asked questions on how they use social media and their reasons for using the technology. FIGURE 1 Year Agency Started Using Social Media Agencies have a wide range of experience using social media (figure 1) . Roughly one in five agencies reportedly started using social media as part of their official operation in 20 12. Approximately 5 percent of agencies have us ed social media for over a decade , and a similar percentage of agencies adopted it only within the last year. FIGURE 2 What Does Your Agency Use Social Media For? 21 6 9 26 29 72 52 90 80 62 50 20 Before 2006 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Number of agencies 3% 6% 29% 58% 70% 72% 76% 86% 86% 89% 91% Other In-service training Communicating with government agencies Recruitment and applicant vetting Intelligence gathering for investigations Monitoring public sentiment Soliciting tips on crime Notifying public of noncrime issues (traffic) Public relations Community outreach and engagement Notifying public of public safety concerns

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4 2016 ANNUAL SOCIAL M EDIA S URVEY Law enforcement agencies use social media for a wide range of activities (figure 2) . More than 80 percent of agencies with a social media presence use it to notify the public of safety concerns, engage with the community, manage their agency™s reputation, or notify people of noncrime issues (e.g. , road closures , emergency information). A gencies continue to use the technology for other purposes, including recruiting and vetting new applicants (58 percent ), communicating with other government agencies (29 percent ), and training (6 percent ). FIGURE 3 How Many Official Twitter Accounts Do es Your Department Have? Though the majority of law enf orcement agencies use only one T witter account as a part of their official operati on, 19 percent regularly use more than one account (figure 3) . These agencies often use multiple Twitter accounts to reach certain audiences , such as victim advocates, or to have different tones on the platform, such as when a chief has his or her own account focused specifically on communi ty engagement. The majori ty of law enforcement agencies across the United States have contacted a social media company, such as Facebook or Twitter, to request online information to use as evidence in a legal setting (figure 4). This finding is consistent across agencies of varyin g sizes and levels of experience with social media engagement. 302 75 12 13 12-3 4-5 6+ Number of agencies

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2016 ANNUAL SOCIAL M EDIA SURVEY 5 FIGURE 4 Has Your Agency Contacted a Social Media Company for Evidence ? Social Media Management The survey included questions that related to social media policies, including the internal ma nagement of social media and the types of engagement allowed through the online platform. Of the law enforcement agencies surveyed, 80 percent employ social media policies that guide how officers use the rapidly changing technology (figure 5). Another 11 p ercent are currently developing such policies, indicating that more agencies will soon have guidelines managing their online presence. FIGURE 5 Does Your Agency Have a Written So cial Media Policy? Yes 60% No 31% I don’t know 9% Yes 80% No 9% We are in the process of developing one 11% I don’t know <1% 255 KB – 22 Pages