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2013 ConnectedCOPS Awards Winners Announced

LAwS Communications Announces the Winners of the International ConnectedCOPS Awards

 Recipients announced in eight categories at The SMILE Conference in Omaha, Neb.

Omaha, NE – October 01, 2013 – The winners of the second annual ConnectedCOPS™ Awards were announced last week at the SMILE Conference® in Omaha, Nebraska. The awards program began last year and immediately became highly sought after by law officers using social media in police operations.

“It is still very rare for law enforcement to understand the true depths of engagement they can achieve with social media,” said Lauri Stevens, founder of LAwS Communications and the ConnectedCOPS Awards. “The winners of the ConnectedCOPS awards are the people and agencies who are at the forefront of this realization. So in turn they set the bar and they set it very high for their peers. Through these awards, I hope we’re able to signal to others that social media isn’t about checking a box, but rather should be approached with proactive strategy and strong governance. If we succeed, law enforcement can become more transparent but also more efficient and potentially put more bad guys behind bars.”

From L to R is Sergeant Thorir Ingvarsson, Reykjavik Metropolitan Police (Excellence at a Large Agency); Superintendent Gary Askin, Waterloo Regional Police; Lindsay Charlesworth, Waterloo Regional Police (Social Media Campaign); Sean Stephenson, Calgary Police (Social Media Event Management); Detective Sam Palmer, Phoenix Police (Social Media Investigator); Bridget Fitzpatrick, Omaha Police (Civilian Award of Excellence); Lieutenant Christopher Cook, Arlington, TX (Social Media Leadership)
Not pictured: Deputy Chief Peter Sloly, Toronto Police (Social Media Top Cop); Bernard Keyworth, North West Motorway Group (Excellence at a Small Agency)

The 2013 ConnectedCOPS Awards winners in eight categories are:

Social Media Award of Excellence at a Large Agency – Reykjavik Police, Iceland

“We are honored to receive this important and prestigious award, not to mention when we see who else were nominated and how many police departments around the world are doing great things in the field,” said Stefan Eriksson, Chief of Police of the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police. “The use of social media has been an important aspect of information sharing for the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police but importantly also in maintaining a relationship with the citizens in the last few years. The key to our success in the field has been in how people have embraced this new type of communication and have been willing to participate. Therefore it has been crucial to realize that social media is not a one way street but a town square, where the police and the people they serve can converse and work together.” 

Social Media Award of Excellence at a Small Agency – North West Motorway Police Group, United Kingdom?

“It was a unexpected surprise to receive international recognition for the NWMPG’s use of social media, particularly as we have only been using it, to improve policing on the Region’s motorways, for just over a year,” said Bernard Keyworth, a supervisor from the NWMPG.

Social Media Leadership Award – Lieutenant Christopher Cook, Arlington, TX Police, United States

“I want to thank our outstanding citizens for connecting with the Arlington Police Department through social media,” said Christopher Cook, Arlington Police. “Furthermore, I want to give credit to Police Chief Will Johnson for his commitment to social media strategies and my team of employees who work tirelessly to bring innovative and exciting content to all of our platforms. It’s truly a humbling experience and honor to be recognized as a pioneer in law enforcement social media.”

Social Media Civilian Award of Excellence – Bridget Fitzpatrick, Omaha, NE Police, United States

“It is an honor to be recognized by the SMILE Conference judges,” said Bridget Fitzpatrick, Omaha Police. “This award is a reflection not only of my work but also of the work of the staff of PIO’s for the Omaha Police Department, and more importantly the progressive mindset of Chief Todd Schmaderer. Without his support and encouragement, OPD would not be excelling as well in the social media world.”

Social Media Top Cop Award – Deputy Chief Peter Sloly, Toronto Police, ON, Canada

“The SMILE Conference social media Top Cop award is an honor but more a reflection of the inspiration that TPS trail blazers like Scott Mills, Tim Burrows and Ritesh Kotak have had on me,” said Peter Sloly, Toronto Police. “I wanted to use my rank and role in the TPS to enlighten and empower other officers to use social media to improve public safety, public service and public trust. The Top Cop award validates those efforts. I am indebted to Lauri Stevens and The SMILE Conference for giving me both the technical competence and strategic confidence to build the TPS social media strategy. Lauri gets a big assist for this Top Cop award.”

Social Media Investigator Award (Sponsored by LexisNexis) – Detective Sam Palmer, Phoenix Police, United States

“I am very honored to receive the ConnectedCOPS Social Media Investigator of the year award and look forward to being part of a trend in law enforcement,” said Sam Palmer, Phoenix Police. “Using technology based investigative techniques to help solve crimes is a new direction in law enforcement. It is cutting edge and exciting and I am proud to be part of it.”

Social Media Event Management Award – Calgary Police, AB, Canada

“The Strategic Communications Unit was working 24 hours a day without knowing how long it would be necessary to continue,” said Sean Stephenson, Calgary Police. “While I accept this award on behalf of the Calgary Police Service, I must acknowledge and thank my team for their efforts round the clock on the day the flood hit and the weeks that followed, and all Calgarians for their support and for taking our messages and moving them from social media to social groups.”

Social Media Campaign Management Award – Waterloo Regional Police, ON, Canada

“It is such an honor to be recognized for this award. Social Media has proven to be an incredible weapon for police to engage, educate, inform and connect with our community,” said Gary Askin, Waterloo Regional Police. “We are fortunate and grateful to Lauri Stevens and SMILE/Connected Cops to have created an environment where we can all learn from each other and force multiply our presence to enhance community safety, everywhere.”

For more information on the ConnectedCOPS Awards, please visit

About LAwS Communications

LAwS Communications has been providing interactive media advice to law enforcement since 2005. Open Source communication technologies available today allow organizations to efficiently gather and distribute information like never before. LAwS Communications works with law enforcement professionals to help make sense of the tools available, help agencies craft a plan and social media policy as well as provide the training needed. LAwS Communications can help law enforcement organizations not only understand why an agency should take advantage of social media technologies, but also how to leverage these vast resources. LAwS Communications is located in Newbury, Massachusetts. It is a subsidiary of Stevens & Associates Inc.

For more information, please visit



Lauri Stevens

LAwS Communications

(978) 764-9887

PR Contact:

Nicole Fait

Public Communications Worldwide

(714) 891-3660



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