Flashing the Mob With Digital Community Officers

By Ken Morris, JD

Philadelphia, London, Cairo and more recently the 7-Eleven incident in Germantown, MD are examples of centuries old behavior – people gathering in groups and behaving badly. Police in Germantown initially believed the 7-Eleven flash mob robbery was planned using social media. Post interviews with the suspects, police discovered that the teens planned the raid on the convenience store while on a bus ride from a county fair.

Governmental response has ranged from shutting down communication networks as in the blocking of cellular traffic on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (a likely constitutional infringement on speech) to active monitoring of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The latter approach is an important effort but insufficient to quell the planning of illicit activity. We recommend combining the monitoring of social networks by becoming part of the network – a concept central to community policing.

Community policing is best defined as the system of allocating police officers to particular areas so that they become familiar with the local inhabitants. Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and now Google+ are merely digital forms of analog communities.

We acknowledge that police departments are operating in environments of fewer resources. The efficiency and scalability of social networks provide a unique leveraged opportunity to engage those communities with only a modest investment. Monitoring tools are readily available. Mobile platforms allow for real-time notification and engagement by Digital Community Officers (DCO’s).

First things first.

  1. Determine your digital community policing objectives.
  2. Define measures of success.
  3. Assess which communities/networks are most valuable to engage.
  4. Become an active part of the digital community.
  5. Determine appropriate responses to less than helpful activity.
  6. Actively publicize the presence of your DCO’s.
  7. Consistently evaluate progress.

“Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.”
– Robert Kennedy


About NextPhase Selling

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
This entry was posted in Enterprise Social Media, Social Computing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s