#CopChat August 27 – Topic

Wednesday August 27, 2014

It's baaaaaaaack

Tonight’s Topic

“Following your local police – agency and officers”

Tonight we are going to take a look at your local police and it’s officers that are using social media. Questions will center around their use of platforms and how they impact you.

Officers tuning in will benefit from the perspective of how they are viewed by their community and agencies can learn what their community wants from them?

For the community, what a great opportunity to hear from officers and agencies on how and why they do things.

It’s always about learning from each other.

If you don’t know who your local officers are or an agency from your town, google/bing/yahoo them to see if they have a presence.

What are the #CopChat “rules”? LOL, there are no rules but we want this to be a good experience for everyone so here are some ideas to help.

1. The first rule of #CopChat is we talk about #CopChat. This isn’t FightClub, we have nothing to hide.

2. If you have a blog, website or social channel that you want to share, please do so at the beginning…but we’ll ask that you don’t do any selling of products or services.  This chat is for discussion not sales. If you would like to sponsor a chat or promote your product, email me. ( timburrows1266@gmail.com )

3. There is no insulting, bullying or swearing.  If someone says something that you don’t agree with, respectfully say so and have a discussion.  That is what this is all about…learning and sharing.

4. If a subject presents itself that you may have written a piece for feel free to share at the end of the chat using the hashtag. Depending on the speed of the chat it could get lost in the stream during the middle of it and you’re less likely to get clicks during the chat.

5. If someone tweets something that you feel compelled to RT, do it! But, make it even better by adding your own flavour to it, or conversely, if you disagree, say so and provide the reason why.

6. If someone disagrees with your position take the criticism professionally…no twitter fights.  It won’t serve anyone with any value.  Take it out of the chat and have your fight without the hashtag.  No one wants to see children fight…we want to see adults chat.

7. Finally…no tweet longer apps.  Keep it under 140, no one wants to be clicking links to see the rest of your tweet. It will take people out of the conversation and probably get ignored anyways.

8. Abuse – if you choose to abuse the forum you will be blocked / muted and really what will that accomplish. We are all here to learn from each other. If you don’t like the police then say so respectfully…who knows, you might have a valid point but if it’s expressed poorly, no one will ever learn from it.

How to follow along.

Naturally, the easiest way is by using the hashtag… #CopChat

Using a dashboard platform like You will want to use TweetDeck / Hootsuite / TweetChat / Twubs etc, to follow the #CopChat.  You may also want create streams to follow @t_burrows and who ever may be co-hosting. Make sure you watch your own mentions stream so you don’t miss anything someone says to you.

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Why you need to follow the police on social media

Need? Do you really need to follow the police on social media? Very simply put, yes you do. You need to follow your local city police, county police and state police.

Some of you may be thinking that, “Tim, I already abide by the laws, I’m a good citizen, why do I need to follow the police? ” Well that’s a great question and the best answer I have is because you are exactly who they need to follow them. That’s right, the police need you to follow them.

Your name is John or Jane. You’re married in your mid thirties. You have 2 children, commute everyday to work in an office, enjoy dinner with your family playing with your kids after eating and on the weekends you do your shopping, get your kids to their activities, catch up with friends and don’t give a second thought to your personal safety.

You are the perfect follower for the police. You see, you make up the vast majority of the tax base of any given community. You rarely require the services of your police and chances are the only contact you have had with them is though a traffic stop or because of that ‘stupid thing you did as a teenager’.

The police need you because you are their secret weapon. You want to know that when you are at work your home is protected. You want to know that you will be safe travelling to and from your office and that while you are there you won’t become the victim of a crime. You want to know that there won’t be any bad people trying to talk to our children in real life or online.

You want to know that the police are there for you, but you never want to need them. Your police department also wants life to be exactly like that. But because of life isn’t just that “Mayberry” you need to follow your police on social media.

The police are holders of vast information and they want to share that information with you because they know something else about you. You will share that information with your friends and family because it will make them safer and protect them from the same things that you are protected from.

The police will share crime prevention information. Things that most of us take for granted like why the bushes in front of our windows should be the kinds with thorns on them or what that little mirror on the bank machine is actually for.

Some police officers will try to inspire young children with creativity and showing them there is more to life than they sometimes see or take them on a camping trip to get them out of the concrete walls that are sometimes their only existence.

 

They will let you know about crashes and traffic disruptions to ease your commute and the local weather so you know how to dress for the day. The police will warn you about the bad guys and girls that could cause you harm and the ways they will do it, like when you aren’t paying attention on the subway and you find yourself the victim of a smart phone theft.

A great police department on social media will tell you that there are three things needed for a crime to occur:

  • A victim
  • An opportunity
  • A criminal

They will show you how to insulate yourself from becoming a victim and how to remove yourself from the opportunity equation and how to avoid the criminal.

When active crime is happening, you know you can turn to your police for the facts and the information that is credible because they don’t work in speculation or innuendo. Your police aren’t on a timeline for keeping viewers on their channel so they don’t start massive fishing expeditions for the next great rumour.

@BostonPolice #Captured

@BostonPolice #Captured

Is there a criminal in your midst or a new type of crime that is looking for fresh victims? Your police will be providing that information to help make you safer.

Here is one of the best reasons that you should be following your police. They actually want to talk to you! They want to know what concerns you. They want to know what areas of your town you won’t go to after dark. They want to know what you believe they could do better to serve your community. Reach out and say “Hello” to your police department and there is a really good chance they will say hello back.

Need a laugh? There are police departments that specialize in adding humor to the social stream because they know the world can be a pretty depressing place some days and everyone could use a little laugh from time to time and they like to show their lighter side…

 

To give you the best reason to follow your local police, I have to go back 185 years to the birth of modern policing and the man who put in place the rules that still exist today. Sir Robert Peel is the father of modern policing and in 1829 he developed the Peels Principals of Policing.

One of those principles, the seventh, states, “… the police are the public and that the public are the police…” In other words, we all need to be there for each other. The police are members of the public and while they will come to our aid, we must also come to theirs and also to one another. If following, liking, retweeting, subscribing and sharing their information is the best we can do then we should all do it.

Ever think what your town would be like without crime? Imagine a place where tax dollars can be directed at social programs, school lunch and breakfast programs, senior care programs because as a community you insulated yourself so well against crime and made such a strong stance against criminals that the purpose of the police was just to maintain order and give advice as opposed to chasing the bad people around and burdening the courts! Sure, that’s a bit of a pipe-dream, but where would we be today if the dreamers of yesterday didn’t succeed.

Search the name of your police department, go to their website and look for their social icons so that you can help your city, your community and yes, even yourself be a little safer, more aware, educated and sometimes even entertained.

If your police aren’t everything I’ve described, let me know. I’ll reach out to them for you.

 

 

 

 

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The Return of #CopChat

In June of 2012, the first hour long Twitter Chat with the focus being policing took place.

It's baaaaaaaack

It’s baaaaaaaack

History

#CopChat was born from the idea that police and the public could use Twitter to talk in real-time about issues an open and free manner not meant to judge each other, but to learn from each other.

For several months, every Wednesday night at 9pm ET #CopChat served it’s purpose of getting a conversation started.

We talked about real policing issues, use of force, arrest, communication and we also had some fun with favorite movies, songs and food. Police are just people like you and me. Parents, sons, daughters, husbands, wives. They struggle with bills, schedules, deadlines just like everyone else.

One thing where they aren’t like the rest of us is their ability to talk about some of the things they do. Worse is not individually but as a profession they do a terrible job of communicating for various reasons:

  • Laws
  • Privacy
  • Investigations
  • Assumption that we just know
  • Authority complex

So, what is the intent of #CopChat this time around after being off the scene?

  1. We want to try to fix some of the issues the stand in the way of great communication.
  2. Peel back some of the layers of secrecy.
  3. Foster understanding
  4. Build a community

Why now?

Can you think of a better time given what’s happening without overstating the obvious?

What are the #CopChat “rules”? LOL, there are no rules but we want this to be a good experience for everyone so here are some ideas to help.

1. The first rule of #CopChat is we talk about #CopChat. This isn’t FightClub, we have nothing to hide.

2. If you have a blog, website or social channel that you want to share, please do so at the beginning…but we’ll ask that you don’t do any selling of products or services.  This chat is for discussion not sales. If you would like to sponsor a chat or promote your product, email me. ( timburrows1266@gmail.com )

3. There is no insulting, bullying or swearing.  If someone says something that you don’t agree with, respectfully say so and have a discussion.  That is what this is all about…learning and sharing.

4. If a subject presents itself that you may have written a piece for feel free to share at the end of the chat using the hashtag. Depending on the speed of the chat it could get lost in the stream during the middle of it and you’re less likely to get clicks during the chat.

5. If someone tweets something that you feel compelled to RT, do it! But, make it even better by adding your own flavour to it, or conversely, if you disagree, say so and provide the reason why.

6. If someone disagrees with your position take the criticism professionally…no twitter fights.  It won’t serve anyone with any value.  Take it out of the chat and have your fight without the hashtag.  No one wants to see children fight…we want to see adults chat.

7. Finally…no tweet longer apps.  Keep it under 140, no one wants to be clicking links to see the rest of your tweet. It will take people out of the conversation and probably get ignored anyways.

How to follow along.

Naturally, the easiest way is by using the hashtag… #CopChat

Using a dashboard platform like You will want to use TweetDeck / Hootsuite / TweetChat / Twubs etc, to follow the #CopChat.  You may also want create streams to follow @t_burrows and who ever may be co-hosting. Make sure you watch your own mentions stream so you don’t miss anything someone says to you.

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Deja Vu: Part 2 — What Cincinnati Learned

Tim Burrows:

A saying comes to mind here, “A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”
When an example exists that shows the ‘then, fix and now’, learn from it. There is no need to make the same mistakes all over again.

Originally posted on improving police:

images-3With Ferguson still “on fire,” it may be helpful to look to a similar situation that happened in Cincinnati in 2001 and how that city responded.

The scenario was all too familiar: An unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer. The result was violent protest. An overmatched police force withheld information. There were police in riot gear, looting, tear gas, vandalism and curfews.

The youth shot in Cincinnati was 19-year-old Timothy Thomas. He was wanted for a number of nonviolent misdemeanors, mostly traffic related. When Thomas was spotted a foot-chase ensued. In a dark alley, the officer thought he saw Thomas reaching for a weapon and shot him. Thomas was unarmed and died.

Protests began two days later, when hundreds of protestors threw rocks and bottles at police. They chanted “fifteen black men” (the number of black men killed by the Cincinnati Police in the…

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Positive’s From Tragedy: Robin Williams Death

I have been a fan of Robin Williams for as long as I can remember. From Happy Days, to Mork and Mindy, his stand-up comedy and movie roles, he left us with a library of memories that will bring us laughter and make us ponder and respect the greater things in life like poetry, genius and caring in the roles from Dead Poets, Good Will and Patch.

He made me laugh, cry and appreciate many things through his work. He dedicated time and money to charitable causes and to helping others in need. Hallmarks of greatness, he had more than a few.

Through his death he has raised awareness of the demons that those afflicted with mental illness, depression and substance abuse fight every day…often in silence.

To me, his death has 3 positives.

1.) Memories – I asked people on Facebook to share their favourite Robin Williams role and the responses showed just how deep and varied his talents were. It was great thinking about the roles he played and the things he did. Screen shot 2014-08-14 at 9.19.14 AM

2.) Awareness –  With his death I have seen more mentions of suicide prevention information, hotline numbers for people in crisis and resources for people struggling with demons. It’s too bad that a tragedy such as this is what makes people want to share this kind of great information in volumes.

3.) Policies – Twitter vows to “improve their policies“…this is part of a headline from a Washington Post blog story that tells a piece of the story detailing how Zelda Williams has jumped off Twitter and Instagram after some nasty abuse she took on the platforms in the wake of her dad’s death.

But why would it take something like this for Twitter to improve their policies? People have been complaining for a long time about the abuses that have been happening on the networks. The cyber-bullying, the anonymous attacks on people, the callousness some can have in the name of “free speech”.

Twitter hangs on very tight to the rights granted under the 1st Amendment and rightfully they should. In many ways, it is for certain a big part of the success of Twitter but often that protective stance has allowed bullies and abusers to go beyond what most people in society would consider appropriate.

It’s too bad that any tragedy like this has to be the catalyst for change when there have been so many more examples of death and abuse fuelled by bullies. If this one makes the social networks better for all, then at least some more good will come out of it.

Thank you Robin, for everything.

Photo Credit: IMDB site

Photo Credit: IMDB site

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Do Police Matter? Take Ferguson For Example

Tim Burrows:

Some very valuable questions here about Ferguson and the situation that has developed.
Questions that don’t need answers as much as points of fact that need solutions.

Originally posted on improving police:

images-3Is the training and improvement of police worth the cost?

If you don’t think so, think again.

What will be the total cost of this incident — both economically and relationally — in Ferguson?

Understanding Ferguson:images

A closer look at St. Louis (MO) suburb where fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teen led to unrest and looting

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Tensions remained high Monday in parts of suburban St. Louis after a fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man led to overnight looting, vandalism and dozens of arrests.

A closer look at the town of Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed:

LOCATION: Ferguson is about 10 miles north of downtown St. Louis… about 21,000 residents.

HISTORY: Incorporated in 1894… as a railroad depot, the town quickly grew into a hub for freight and passenger traffic and a bedroom community for city workers…

COMMERCE: Ferguson is home of the…

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Introducing: Comment Likes

Tim Burrows:

Nice addition to interaction and engagement on blogs.

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

I’m sure we’ve all experienced this — reading through a comment thread, and seeing a particularly well-written comment, whether it be informative, insightful, or just plain funny. You want to show the commenter that you appreciate their work, but don’t have a reply for them, so you just move on. Well, those days are over!

Comment Likes are now available on all WordPress.com sites. We’ve seen how much you enjoy Post Likes, and want to bring that kind of love to comments, too. When you enable Comment Likes on your site, you’ll see a small Like appear below all the comments on your site, just like this one.

You and all your readers can click it to show your appreciation!

If you prefer to read in the WordPress Android or iOS apps, we’re working hard to bring Comment Likes to both of them as well — stay tuned for upcoming releases.

To…

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Anatomy of a Nice Tweet

Every once in a while a Tweet or Facebook post comes out of the streams that stand out a little more than the average post or update.

Here’s one that happened yesterday.

To a lot of people this won’t look like much, but to a teen, well…it speaks to them. SO let’s take a look at the anatomy of this tweet.

Hashtags

#Molly #Veld2014 #Toxic – Veld is an electronic music festival that happens in Toronto and at this years party it appears a drug caused two deaths and a bunch of hospitalizations.  Molly is the nickname for MDMA or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Also known as Ecstasy, aka…a party drug. Toxic was the problem here and that sends a clear message.

The use of these hashtags targeted the desired audience and the drug believed to be the root of the problem.

Two to three hashtags are ideal with two being better.

Context

Molly wasn’t just a drug in this tweet…”she” was hidden in plain sight not as a thing, but with human characteristics which made talking about her easier.

Information

Why Molly is a problem, a phone number to call and removal of the fear of being charged for taking her home or having her were all clear.

Audience

The tweet was in the language of kids trying to hide something. It was all coded. Not to be so obscure as to not be understood, but in a cool, relateable way that kids would understand.

Size

140 characters available…140 used. This is the only problem if you are looking for ReTweets with comments. Not so much of a big deal since Twitter re-worked the RT function a while back.

Smaller is always better, but there isn’t too much you could cut out of this without losing some of a very important and big message. Here’s a slight re-work…

Did u get #Molly at #VELD2014 & take her home? Call 416-808-2222 or drop her off at a police stn-no charges. She’s #toxic

Aim for 100 characters whenever you can as a maximum. Not always realistic, but a great goal to always go for.

Boost

Given the amount of text, this isn’t possible in this case, but adding a picture of Molly would have been gold for parents to see.

But, you could easily jump over to Facebook and make a much bigger information blast with pics and links and not worry so much about the real estate available for use.

Nice tweet @ShawanCoxon!

 

 

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Does the 1st Amendment Cover This?

When you’re a police officer, you are held to a higher standard. There is no arguing that. If you think it’s unfair, then you should probably find another line of work.  If you believe you should be allowed to say whatever you want, then you should really find an outlet other than social media to voice your opinion.

An officer in Marlin Texas decided to use his Facebook account to post some questionable comments. His first volley wasn’t what I would really get all worked up over. Framed in the right way, he might have actually been doing a bit of a public service message.

They were comments about his disdain of shopping for groceries on the first day of the month about food stamps,  tattoos, “bling,” along with the laziness of some shoppers. You get the picture. It was his second thought to keyboard sans filter that was the reckless and moronic part.

“I promise, if I ever snap and go on a killing spree, it will be in a supermarket on the first.”

I’m sorry officer, could you repeat that? Oh, never mind…you don’t need to. You put it on Facebook! You uttered the thought into text and published yourself right into suspension…and well deserved! Here is a thought from every lawyer going right now.

“I promise if you ever snap and go on a killing spree un a supermarket on the first I want to represent all the families in the lawsuits and be present for your execution for premeditated murder.”

The First Amendment affords a great deal of right, but with all rights there is an equal amount of responsibility. Some practitioners of social media will even applaud a disclaimer that look to separate you from your employer in cases of stupidity errors in judgement but they satisfy a legal team to say, “He acted in his own accord.”

But even those lawyers will admit in a lawsuit the employer will still be held to account for their members published thoughts if those thoughts are egregious enough especially if those thoughts come to fruition.

The Best Social Media Policy on Self Risk Management

1.) Don’t do, say or type anything stupid.

2.) If you rely on privacy settings for your protection you are stupid.

3.) If you think, “I shouldn’t”… you shouldn’t.

4.) When in doubt consider, “What is the worst thing that could happen.” then multiply.

5.) Always be guided by, “What could possibly go wrong?”

The 1st will only protect you so far…be it fair or not. We don’t stand for hate speech to be protected, maybe it’s time to consider stupid speech to be not protected as well.

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Children of the Badge: The Impact of Stress on Law Enforcement Children

Tim Burrows:

There has been lots of talk lately about police officers and the impact of PTSD…here is an article that takes a look at those who probably get overlooked in the equation of support….children.

Originally posted on Badge of Life Canada:

Author: ©Mark Bond
May 22, 2014

We know that being married to a law enforcement officer (LEO) has its challenges. But how does extended exposure to secondhand stress and trauma affect the children of LEOs?

According to a 2002 study led by Rudy Arredondo, law enforcement children “can develop traumatic stress vicariously” through watching and listening to 0522policechildtheir parents experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This exposure can cause symptoms such as hyperarousal, intrusive thoughts, eating disorders and aggressive agitated behaviors. Children can even share the same memories or re-enact the LEO’s trauma by knowing that a traumatic event was experienced by the parent.

Law enforcement parents with prior training in stress management techniques after experiencing a traumatic event are less likely to transmit these symptoms to their children because they recognize their own stress responses. Not all children will experience or transfer their parents’ stress; however, it…

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