In June of 2012, the first hour long Twitter Chat with the focus being policing took place.
#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:
- Assumption that we just know
- Authority complex
So, what is the intent of #CopChat this time around after being off the scene?
- We want to try to fix some of the issues the stand in the way of great communication.
- Peel back some of the layers of secrecy.
- Foster understanding
- Build a community
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. ( email@example.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.