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PoliceOne’s Editor in Chief Doug Wyllie recently spoke with Lieutenant John Moses of John’s Creek Police Department in Georgia about a new tool being used by the department, dubbed “PoliceView,” giving citizens greater visibility into the department’s efforts. PoliceView, utilizes SunGard Public Sector’s Public Connect solution, powered by Socrata’s open data, to improve both time and cost efficiency for officers in the department, while improving communication between the department and the community it serves.
“The best aspect of PoliceView is that it is proactive on the part of the police department — citizens can easily find the data they need — it is all available in a publicly digestible format,” said Lieutenant Moses.
Leveraging big data into a system like PoliceView can also help give departments greater insight into internal data related to arrests, convictions and response times. The agency can then make better-informed decisions about patrol staffing and deployment as necessary. Thanks to open data, Johns Creek PD has become more efficient internally, and been able to more easily educate the community about efforts as part of an ongoing dialogue.
“It’s time to provide a comprehensive, new view into the law enforcement community, where police officers can showcase the great work they do, and the public can understand how the system works. It is a dialogue we need to be having, and everyone will benefit from the experience. We are encouraged that agencies across the country understand this problem, and the value of open data in solving it,” said Chris Schoenmann, Program Manager, SunGard Public Sector.
By Kristy Dalton
Most public agencies recognize the value of investing in technology improvements. There is also significant value in helping your citizens understand and support these enhancements. Social media can be a great channel for promoting technology wins, but you first have to set up your social media program.
A government agency has several core needs when setting up a social media presence. Whether your agency is launching social media profiles for the first time, or attempting to get more engagement from existing pages, there are a few things you should consider.
First, make sure you have a policy in place. It is not as daunting a task as it may seem! Include expectations for staff and identify the roles and responsibilities for various departments. Identify how your team will publish content and define how staff will monitor and respond to comments. Reference other policies where there may be overlap, such as an ethics policy.
You should also consider records retention. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked when governments establish a social presence. Get your agency’s clerk and legal counsel involved and discuss public records retention schedules and archival requirements. Once this is set, designate a lead person or team to regularly manage social media, and keep other staff aware and involved.
Promote Technology Wins via Social
Make sure to involve a public outreach plan with every new technology rollout. By embracing social media, your agency can help amplify public awareness of your agency’s vision.
Even if upgrades are to internal, non public-facing systems, process improvement is a noteworthy achievement and is a great success story to share on social media. Choose your social media platforms based on the type of content that you will be able to produce regularly that will support your agency’s mission. The social audience tends to really engage with behind-the-scenes looks at the people and the tech behind services they see every day.
There are a number of benefits to communicating in the social space, such as increased awareness about the work an agency does. Were services made more efficient because of technology enhancements? Does a new feature allow local law enforcement to respond faster? Stories like these perform well on social media.
Tech savvy agencies in government need to have a well-rounded public outreach plan, which includes embracing social media. Exploring what resonates best with the public on various platforms involves some experimentation, but in the long run it can earn your entity public support.
Local governments, public safety and justice agencies, non-profit organizations, and the citizens they serve can envision the future happening today with SunGard Public Sector.