Law Enforcement Takes Social Media Seriously

Social Media Outposts

Social Media Outposts (Photo credit: the tartanpodcast)

As covered by Government Technology, law enforcement is taking social media seriously.  A recent survey of law enforcement agencies shows most agencies use social media, and almost all agencies are interested in using sites like Facebook and Twitter to solve crimes. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Center for Social Media released its third-annual social media survey on Oct. 2, revealing social media is a fast-growing trend in law enforcement.

Nearly 62 percent of the 600 agencies polled claimed to have a written social media policy, whereas two years ago only 35 percent claimed to have such a policy in place. More agencies said they believe social media helps improve community relations and help solve crimes than two years ago.

Overall, it appears that almost all law enforcement agencies are either using social media or interested, with 92 percent of agencies claiming to use social media sites, with nearly 70 percent of those not using social media planning to begin using it within the next year.

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Next Generation 9-1-1 Finally Beginning to Take Off

More than a decade ago, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) recognized the need for changes to the nation’s 911 systems.

The old systems had their jobs for decades, but in a world of wireless calling and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), the country needed more accommodating technology. Enter the concept of next-generation 911 (NG911), a system that would run on a secure Internet protocol-based network and allow texting, data transfer and more.

Since then, a generation of youngsters has grown up texting pals not only with words, but with pictures and videos as well. In fact, a 2011 Pew Internet survey found that 73 percent of cellphone users text, and nearly one-third of them would rather text than talk. In addition, many people with hearing and speech disabilities have abandoned TTY in favor of text messaging. Despite this phenomenon, just a small number of the nation’s 911 call centers run on secure emergency services IP-based networks, and just a handful of the centers have piloted technologies that allow the public to text 911.

So what’s taking so long?

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Government Technology’s Five Most Important Stories of 2011

The use of technology  in government is a common interest of our readers as the topic impacts a wide variety of government contractors.  As such, we recommend you check out this linked article from Government Technology magazine.  Here, they highlight what they consider to be the five most important technology stories of 2011.  The stories cover the gamut from cloud-based services, to social media in government, to ultra high-speed broadband.  It’s well worth a read.