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Social Media Quick Tip: Managing the message in an emergency

During an emergency situation, ensure that the social media message is delivered through one source

Editor’s note: The SMILE (Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement) Conference provides officers with all the technical hands-on skills and the practical knowledge to utlitze social media platforms for public outreach, crime prevention and forensics. The conference is a great opportunity for those involved in social media efforts to share suggestions and stories on this ever-changing topic. Below you will find social media tips from one of the speakers at the conference.

The use of social media and policing isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Today’s police need to adapt and utilize social media in order to stay in touch with today’s online community, as well as make themselves available.

The use of social media during emergency management situations, whether it be natural disaster, large scale demonstration, terrorist attack or simply everyday emergency calls by front line police, need to be managed and monitored by policing agencies. The usage of social media during these situations not only alerts the public as to where they can get help, but also where they can locate loved ones, how to report and how to prevent disasters.

In order to do this effectively, the most important thing I can suggest is during an emergency situation, ensure that the message is delivered through one source. Too many sources can cause confusion with the message and potentially cause a broken telephone effect. Ensure the information that you want delivered is being delivered, and that your message is being heard.

Constable Nathan Dayler has been employed as a police officer for the Toronto Police Service for 10 years. Nathan’s current assignment is a full time Tactical Trainer for the Public Safety and Emergency Management Unit of the Toronto Police specifically the Crowd Management Section. Nathan is also the Social Media representative for the Toronto Police Public Order Section and was a member of the Social Media Workgroup for the Toronto Police Service. Previously, Nathan spent five years with the Sex Crimes Unit working as an Online Undercover officer within the Child Exploitation Unit, as well as with the Special Victims Section.



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