Social media for police officers
Bill Bratton, former police chief for Boston, Los Angeles and New York, is preparing to launch BlueLine, the first comprehensive social media network for law enforcement officers.
BlueLine is designed to allow law enforcement officers and professionals to find each other and share insights, according to SocialTimes, an online social media news source. Based off of Facebook, members can post messages, photos and videos. On top of messaging features, officers will be able to “like” and “share” each other’s content. Similar to LinkedIn, BlueLine will allow officers to join groups, such as SWAT, to discuss department-specific issues.
Reuters reports BlueLine is part of a growing trend of technologically-based information sharing systems among the nations’ police forces. Proponents of such collaborative efforts say sharing information results in a “force-multiplying effect on crime-fighting in an era of dwindling police budgets and manpower,” according to the report.
Bratton, who was responsible for 1995’s release of Compstat, a software-driven crime fighting solution, which mapped out criminal behaviors and allowed real-time deployment of officers, told Reuters that “collaboration is key” for the future of police work.
Only open to accredited law enforcement officers, BlueLine will allow members to crowdsource information, and with data analytics companies developing apps, databases of gang tattoos or graffiti tags may soon become available, according to Reuters.
Bratton told Reuters he also hopes the new network will be a secure alternative for younger officers, who, he says, share a “shocking” amount of personal information on traditional social media sites.
The network is currently being beta-tested by approximately 100 officers in the Los Angles Police Department, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and the University of Southern California police force, according to Reuters. Several dozen more departments are slated to join throughout the summer. The network will officially launch at the International Association of Police Chiefs conference in Philadelphia in October.