I found this article on WEAR fascinating and hope that our police departments over here in Northwest Florida take notice of what Gulf Shores is doing and try doing it themselves. Apparently, the Gulf Shores Police Department has found a way to use Twitter’s Periscope App to help directly communicate with their residents.
After one of the Corporals in the Department stumbled across the app, he did some research and wrote an article on how the app can help bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. It was published on a website called Law Enforcement Social and the Caliber Press.
He says his department uses the app to take their followers on virtual ride along, to show programs like Coffee With a Cop, and the Citizens Police Academy. The app not only allows people to get familiar with their local officers, it also helps the department stay transparent with the community. Once a video goes live viewers are able to ask question and receive a live in real item response from the person shooting the video. But, the corporal says it can have downfalls. “If someone decides to Periscope something they need to make sure they know what their surroundings are. As far as law enforcement is concerned we’re not going to release any tactics or anything. Safety is our number one priority,” said Corporal Josh Coleman.
Boca Raton, Florida is also using it. Public Information Manager Mark Economou who is with the Boca Raton Police Department sees Periscope as a useful tool. He already uses social media such as Facebook and Twittter to allow followers a behind the scenes look at police work and gives followers alerts. Their police department plans to use Periscope to share information via video immediately during emergencies. He thinks it will benefit residents to see what is going on as it is happening such as car accidents.
I think the biggest concern is being cautious of what they are showing so residents doesn’t hinder investigations.