SuperBowl 101: Common Terms Explained

With the big game fast approaching, I thought it would be good to let you all know some of the common terms that you will hear during the big game and what they really mean when police officers hear them.

1) Superbowl Term: HOLDING
Normally results in a penalty. It is the act of grasping another player who does not have the ball and impeding their progression.

To sound intelligent: During the game, when the team you are against makes a great play scream, “No way, our guy was held. That was soooooo holding!”

Police Definition:
If someone asks you, “Holding?” They want to know if you have any illegal drugs on you for sale. Politely reply, “No man.”

2) Superbowl Term: BLITZ
A surprise defensive play that brings one or more defenders aggressively towards the quarterback in hopes for a sack (see below) or a loss of yardage situation.

To sound intelligent: On third and long when your team has the ball yell at the TV, “Watch for the blitz up the middle boys.”

Police Definition:
A common phrase to describe a person who has ingested intoxicants in the form of drugs or alcohol to the extent they can no longer care for themselves and require immediate attention for their own safety. “That accused before the court was blitzed out of his mind which is why he drove his car into side of the house.”

3) Superbowl Term: FLEA-FLICKER
An offensive stunt play in which the quarter back hands the ball to another offensive player, who in turn fakes a run then tosses the ball back to the quarterback in hopes of passing the ball downfield to an open receiver.

To sound intelligent: If your team is behind and their offence isn’t producing and they have the ball state very thoughtfully, “Maybe we need to mix it up a bit. This would be a good time for the old flea-flicker!”

Police Definition:
The glow associated to stoners when they are going to the FleaMarket to buy a bong or other drug paraphernalia, “Wow man, the lights at the market…it’s like a Flea-Flicker dude.”

4) Superbowl Term: INTERFERENCE
The action of illegally interfering with an opponent’s ability to catch a passed or kicked ball.

To sound intelligent: Timing is crucial here. If your receiver (the guy who wants to catch the ball) misses it and a yellow flag is thrown yell, “Yes, pass interference. 1st down. Let’s go baby.”

Police Definition:
What tinfoil does when worn on the head of people or placed strategically on the inside of windows. “The tinfoil causes interference so the aliens can’t hear my thoughts.”

5) Superbowl Term: SACK
The defensive act of tackling the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage while he still has the ball.

To sound intelligent: When the opposing team has the ball on offence and they are lined up to start the play yell, “Come on D…let’s sack him on this one.”
Really intelligent bonus combo: “Come on D…bring the safety on a blitz up the middle and send the corner from the outside. Let’s sack him on this one.”

Police Definition:
The container most commonly used to hold contraband items. “Your honour, the defendant was using a brown paper sack to store his drugs.”
Bonus Term: “Your honour, the defendant was using a brown paper sack for holding his drugs. He did not notice the uniform officers approaching due to the interference caused by the prostitute walking past and also due to his blitzed state. ”

Enjoy the Superbowl everyone.


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Friends…how many of us have them? #CopChat

Friends, followers, subscribers….accept my request.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...friend request accepted.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen…friend request accepted.

I’m pretty sure Shakespeare had no idea that Cesar could be so friendly in the age of social media.

One of the most popular questions that I’m asked is, “How do we get more followers?” I will generally ask a question in return before I give an answer, “Why do you want more?”

This will tell me if the agency has laid out a social strategy or if they are looking to base their measurement on numbers. Both are necessary, but one is far more important than the other.

Do you want more friends, followers, subscribers to base your success on numbers or do you want them to base your measurement on impact and reach in your community?

Tonight on #CopChat we’re going to ask this question of all the participants because I’m willing to bet that there are several strategies that are at play which is why I can’t just answer that question without delving a little deeper.

#CopChat - 9pm ET, Wednesday Nights

#CopChat – 9pm ET, Wednesday Nights

I can give you my top 5 strategies for getting more followers and friends, subscribers and fans which are all proven, but they might not be exactly in line with why you want to increase your audience.

Who knows…maybe I actually will ;)

But, we’ll put it out there for everyone to discuss and talk about.

Speaking of friends…does anyone remember this one? Throwback time…


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What your community wants to know

One struggle that departments can find themselves in is finding great content to provide to their communities, that matters to them.

Sure it’s easy posting pictures that promote your agency or press conferences and news releases that ask for their assistance but to make those impactful you really need to show your citizens how their assistance benefits them.

What I’m talking about though is providing information that can make an immediate and lasting impact and makes them want to come back for more.

The question is, what type of information do they really want? Well the answer will come from the very same people who want it.  There are two great ways to find out.

  1. Ask them. You never really know what someone wants unless you ask them. Take the time to make a survey inquiring what they want to know or what is important to them.

    What do you want to know?

    What do you want to know?

  2. Listen to them. I often see members of the public asking questions of their police online. Very often the questions are similar in nature regardless of the jurisdiction which shows commonality of concerns.

    The public has many questions if you listen

    The public has many questions if you listen

Once you ask your community what they want then you need to answer them. But take the opportunity to use the law of averages. If a group of people have the same responses you can assume that many more have the same thought on their mind.

Chances are if you are listening to your online community you probably are asked the same questions on a regular basis. Once again, the same law of averages will apply.

Now time to answer them; not individually, but all at once. Take the time to make the answers creative and rich.

You could use video, slide presentations or write a note/blogpost. When done right this content that you’ve created can be used again and again as a redirect for when the same questions arise (which they often will.)

Think right now of the top 5 questions that you are asked and answer them. You will be creating your own great content and what makes it great is that it is content that your community wants.


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The Truth About Waze

wazeSome people in the police and law enforcement community are looking at Google to shut down the Waze App citing officer safety concerns and comparing some of the apps functionality to ‘stalking police’ software.

The question is,

“Is Waze dangerous to police safety?” 

Without a doubt the answer is a resounding YES! It’s just as dangerous as having a sign on a building that reads, “Police Station.” Or as bad as having a car on the street that has stickers on it saying, “Police Department.”

Once again, we have to look at the reality of the situation. It doesn’t matter what the tool is which is being used for the task at hand, it is how that tool is being used. Fire is great for keeping you warm, but it’s not a good idea to set your house on fire on a cold night.

waze2What is Waze? 

Waze is an app that allows crowd sourced information to be geo-located on a map to warn of traffic slowdowns, collisions, construction and police activity. The police activity is the concern here. Most people are using the police activity portion of the app to tell other motorists about speed enforcement locations or to report locations of police officers doing investigations, traffic enforcement and general duties (which the majority of the public has no idea what’s going on) they just post an officers location.

I’ve used the app and find it very helpful. I also have done many interviews about the app and the police location reporting portion of it.

As a traffic officer, I thought it was great technology. Why not let the public warn others about locations of police enforcement? The goal is to make roads safer and if by causing people to slow down that is accomplished, than great!

Do Police Have A Bona-fide Safety Concern?

Yes they do. Anyone who learns the position of a police officer through the app could use that information to facilitate an attack on the officer.

How Does That Compare To Other Means?

It’s the exact same. Many police agencies are encouraging their members to be active on social media which means officer are already checking into locations, tagging themselves at events, using geolocation services with geo enabled devices and reporting to buildings, driving cars and wearing uniforms that all put them at risk.

The biggest challenge here is the message that police are contradicting themselves with. On one hand they are looking for greater access to the information of the public through social applications but then asking for platforms to be closed down which pull back the curtains on the looking-glass into police activities.

Waze represents no more of a danger than Swarm, Facebook Check-ins or a well-intentioned community activity tweet. I’m not looking anytime soon to see police demanding those platforms be scuttled.

How Does This Compare To Posting Drinking/Driving SpotCheck Locations?

I’m very much against posting the locations of spot check locations or officers involved in tactical operations. The goal in those situations are to ‘catch the bad guys’ or disrupt an event. Posting traffic enforcement has the offset benefit of slowing people down and since traffic enforcement is supposed to be based on prevention and safety, it does the trick.

It’s not the tools…its the person handling the tool.

The leadership that has raised the issue with Google and their own memberships are very well-intentioned, but perhaps they didn’t get the proper counsel they should have sought in raising their concerns.

Here’s a twist…just think how effective a police agency could be using the app to notify the public of their activity such as traffic crash investigations, road closures, special events, protests. Just think about the community reaction when they are seeing information critical to their daily activities and planning posted by their police department. That would be a public relations win for sure.

For the final word, Captain Chris Hsuing summed up the debate very well in this interview:

The National Sheriffs Association has expanded their discord for the app.

It broadened its campaign with a new statement criticizing Google’s software as hampering the use of speed traps. The trade association said radar guns and other speed enforcement techniques have reduced highways deaths.

“This app will hamper those activities by locating law enforcement officers and puts the public at risk,” the group said.

There was no comment on whether the Sheriffs Association believed prevention of speeding or nabbing speeders held a higher position in their priorities.


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The Police Podcast

Well…it’s been something that I’ve been working on doing for about 6 months now of and on but now…it’s all on! Introducing…

The Police Podcast

The Police Podcast

The Police Podcast  has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time to help tell the “police story” and provide some insights into the world than so many people think they know about, but very few really do.

The program itself will be broke into four distinct parts:

  1. Full Episodes that will include interviews with police officers and members of police/law enforcement agencies about their job, social media and their lives.
  2. Full Episodes that will include interviews with industry professionals that compliment police/law enforcement organizations. Communications specialists, investigative tool developers, customer service professionals are just a few examples.
  3. Full Episodes where I’ll just talk candidly about current events, answering questions from the public / police or just telling it like it is.
  4. The Police Podcast Points To Ponder are ‘Tim-Bits” of information to ponder between full episodes. They will come in many forms; quotes on leadership, tips and tricks, inspiration from the Bible, etc.

Full episodes will be marked as “Episode” and will run anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes while the Points to Ponder will be “TPPPTP” will be a couple of minutes to a maximum of 5…great for mass consumption.

I would be honored if you would take the time to subscribe and after you’ve experienced The Police Podcast, write a review and give it a rating so that I can deliver what you, the community would like to have delivered to you.

To Subscribe:
Stitcher Radio:
Web Site:


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Tonight’s #CopChat Topic – Compliance

#CopChat - 9pm ET, Wednesday Nights

#CopChat – 9pm ET, Wednesday Nights

One word that consistently creeps into conversations around police use of force issues is compliance.

“If the person would have complied with officers orders they wouldn’t have been ________”. Fill in the blank, arrested, taken down, cuffed, punched, choked, shot.

Is it really that simple? Will compliance to  officer demands mean less use of force? Less accusations of police brutality?

I think it will and many officers will echo that sentiment.

Tonight on #CopChat we’ll explore compliance from both the police side and community side.

The video below talks about surrender. Exchange that with compliance and don’t look at it as a black/white, police/criminal issue. Consider this a vision for society.


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Humor and your social media

Using humor in your social media is not always the easiest thing to do.
It requires timing, tone and context to be done well…oh and a willingness to let your hair down and drop the “We are the serious police” attitude. Most of all, you must have fun with it.

Take a look at two recent examples from the Philadelphia Police Department. Not only using great humor, but on two different platforms. (Twitter and Facebook…bonus touch of humor if you click the link to their website above.)



No Savsies

No Savsies

Way to go Philly Police.

In other news…
Have you registered for our Facebook Settings For Professionals Webinar? It happens today at 1:30 and it’s completely free. 

Looking for more tips, tricks and ways to improve your social media presence? Register here for a free webinar on Tuesday, January 20th at 1:30 for Facebook settings for first responders.

FB Webinar Public Profiles

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What happened to the Brimfield Police?

UPDATE 1:18pm…see bottom of post

If you’ve been following along with the Brimfield Police Department and their former Chief, David Oliver, you know that things have changed in OH-IO.Brimfield Ohio Police Dept Website

Gone is Chief Oliver, as are the police department’s Facebook and Twitter accounts despite what their website is showing. It got me to thinking…is this damage control or ownership control? Either way, when you consider a Facebook account that was the second most liked police department page in the United States has just disappeared, then a great voice has been lost…and I don’t mean the Chief’s.

Chief Oliver built a cult following with his simple, straight forward, no BS, “Crazy Cousins” talk that many experts have held as an example of community outreach and a model follow, while other (including myself) have often said that what the Chief did in Brimfield worked great in Brimfield but doubt it would work in many other places for many other people. In the end, it might not have even worked in the long-term in Brimfield Ohio.

Now, it’s gone…it’s all gone. brimfield facebook searchSure, you can still hear the Chief’s voice mail recording and email address, but that’s about it. Click on the Twitter Feed on their website and you get an even less friendly notice…Brimfield Twitter Feedbrimfield policeWhat can we learn from Brimfield?
Who controls an account that is created under the name of a police officer / agency and is it protected if anything negative happens requiring access to the account.
I’m not saying that Chief Oliver took the accounts down. It may very well be a case of Brimfield Township taking a torpedo to the accounts until a decision is made on moving forward.

According to this news report, it is the police department that shut down the accounts.

Why would you want to toast that kind of reach Brimfield had on its Facebook Page?

Meanwhile…if you miss Chief Oliver, check out some of his greatest hits here in this collection from the Huffington Post

UPDATE 1:18pm

Apparently a war was brewing between supporters and detractors of Chief Oliver and the sites were scuttled as a temporary measure.

Thanks @CoreyLambrecht for the awesome link! 


Have you registered for our Facebook Settings For Professionals Webinar?

Looking for more tips, tricks and ways to improve your social media presence? Register here for a free webinar on Tuesday, January 20th at 1:30 for Facebook settings for first responders.

FB Webinar Public Profiles


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10 Tips To Increase ReTweets

You can’t argue that great use of social media for your agency (business) is both an art form and a science. Chances are you want to increase your voice in the social space and understanding how to use both artistic creativity combined with science will improve your ability to be shared.ReTweet Icon

1) Size Matters:
Crafting your tweets to allow for easy retweets makes a difference. Studies show that tweets that allow your audience space to share without editing and allowing their own voice helps. 71-100 Characters is the aim for maximum sharing. This tip is the foundation for all the others as space is what will make the real difference in what you can offer in your original message.

2) If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get:
Be willing to ask your audience to retweet you. While “Please RT” is good, actually spelling it out is even better, “Please RETWEET.”

3) Make it Valuable:
While some tweets can be ‘just for fun’ or ‘just because’, nothing is as important to sharing as the actual content you put out. Put out great content that is value based on your audience needs and you’ll see more shares.

4) What’s In A Number:
If your tweet has a number in it, use the numerical value instead of the long version. Using a number shows an increase of 17% in retweets, not seventeen percent.

5) Think About News and Instructions:
Everyone wants to be on the front edge of sharing great information that is relevant or helpful to others. The most popular things people want to share are news, instructional information, entertainment, opinions and products.

6) Timing:
If your audience is most active online at 2:00pm on a Saturday, that would be a great time to put out your content for maximum shares. Commuter times, weekends, lunch time are all considerations to help you make your best time. Your own analytics will tell you as well if you’re paying attention.

7) Picture This:
Adding pictures to your tweets can dramatically increase the retweets. Pictures also can tell your story for you leaving you with less typing to get your thoughts across.

8) Hashtags:
Like pictures, good hashtags can slice your character count. They can act like chapters in a book explaining the content without using a lot of words. Be careful on how many you use. 2-3 maximum per tweet. Going beyond that can make your tweet look like spam.

9) Link It:
Using link in your tweet has shown positive retweets and better awareness of what you are trying to message. Placement matters here as well. Links that are between 75 and 90 percent of the way into a tweet increases their purpose.

10) Be a Retweeter:
One of the cornerstones of social interaction is ‘returning the favor’. Want to get retweets? Retweet others AND GIVE CREDIT. When you see other people’s great information share it, but make sure you include that person in your tweet as a “@ via”, “@mention” or just an organic retweet itself.

I hope you find this helpful.

Looking for more tips, tricks and ways to improve your social media presence? Register here for a free webinar on Tuesday, January 20th at 1:30 for Facebook settings for first responders.

FB Webinar Public Profiles

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Melbourne Police Working Twitter Like Champs

Using social media during an active event is not the easiest thing to do but can it ever pay off for you and your community if you can work it into your resources.

Melbourne, Florida is not a big city. It’s a city of about 80,000 people dwarfed by its coastal cousins, Miami and Jacksonville along with its central Florida neighbor, Orlando. It sits on the Atlantic side of the state just south of Cape Canaveral.

On Saturday, January 17 the city garnered some international attention when an active shooter event happened at the Melbourne Square Mall. Melbourne Police responded in real life and in the cyber space.

What would everyone in the media want at this point in time? A voice from the police department to keep them updated and they got it…

If it's safe a close location for a scrum serves your media very well.

If it’s safe, a close location for a scrum serves your media very well.

What do you think the public wants to know?

I bet people inside the mall were probably on social media wondering what was happening around them…

Could you imagine what it would be like if your loved one worked at the mall or your children were shopping?

I wonder if we can take our relatives who are visiting from out of state shopping tomorrow?

Well done Melbourne Police.

Are you ready to respond as well as the Melbourne Police did? 
Do you have a designated media person trained in the use of social media?
Have you supplied your media relations and public information officers the mobile tools to be in “2 places at once”?
Do you have your voice in the social space?

The only thing you might want to do to increase your voice is consider the use of a hashtag that people are contributing to the conversation on. In this case #MelbourneSquareMall was getting a lot of attention.

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