As much as I try to avoid business travel anymore, the more I seem to do. Although travel is not bad it can get overwhelming at times and seems to just put me further behind. I did recently in my travels have the opportunity to speak, on an as of late favorite topic, and that is the use of Social Media by law enforcement. Specifically I was speaking on the lack of policy by agencies starting to use Social Media, not only as a community policing tool, but as an investigative tool.
Recently I was asked to present at the first annual SMILE conference or Social Media in Law Enforcement conference in Washington DC. This was a great gathering of various law enforcement professionals interested in Social media and its implementation within law enforcement. My specific piece was on the policy decision behind using social media as a law enforcement tool. I spoke about the need to have policy to protect the law enforcement officer as much as the agency. I was able to speak with some great talent in the field that are adapting social media for investigative and communicative reasons.
I also had the opportunity to speak at the Massachusetts Attorney Generals Cyber crime Initiative quarterly meeting. The Mass AG sponsors a meeting quarterly on various cybercrime topics. She brings in investigators from all over the state to discuss cybercrime. I was lucky enough to speak on the investigation of social media, and of course hit the topic of policy for law enforcement. The crowd of over 200 Massachusetts law enforcement investigators was eager to understand more about investigating social media especially as it applied to Cyber bullying cases.
During the two weeks I was gone, connecting to so many investigators in person, I wanted to be sure not to lose touch with my online contacts — not just customers and prospects who email me, but also Twitter and Facebook followers. So, as a smartphone user, I downloaded a new app and signed up for a new program called “Foursquare”. The use of FourSquare allowed me to stay connected on the road from my phone. I could and did update my Facebook page and my twitter account from my phone with a few clicks of the keyboard.
I found this to be a simple and easy use of the media and received numerous comments back regarding my updates. Many were interested in my travels and found the topics I was speaking on of interest.
Why am I mentioning this? When I talk to groups like these, I want to be sure they understand the value of social networking in their professional lives — not just from an investigative standpoint, but also from the standpoint of being able to network and share ideas with one another. Our increasingly interconnected world makes this an absolute necessity.
Are you on Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? Please feel free to connect with me.