Tag Archives: Facebook

Blessed with new friends along the way

John Kerry has been a vital volunteer in promoting our Thibodaux Police Department’s social media strategy.
Blessed with new friends along the way

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Capturing the Moment \ Christie Pepper / Part 2

CPepper face

Christie Pepper Photography©

http://christiepepperphotography.smugmug.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ChristiePepperPhotography

Welcome back to the second half of my interview with Christie Pepper. In addition to having first met Christie while working at the same Sheriff’s Office, she’s a trusted honest eye for my upcoming crime thriller and current A Cajun Murder Mystery Series.

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I’m excited to continue this conversation with Christie because one answer blew me away. I’ve asked this same question to others, and yet her reply was so unique, I’ve thought about nothing since. You’ll know it when you read it.

Scott – Getting right to it, what do you enjoy most about photographing south Louisiana?

Christie – South Louisiana is absolutely beautiful. As a child, I had huge dreams and couldn’t wait to become a powerful successful woman, move away to a big city, and live in a loft apartment overlooking the hectic streets and bright lights.

Today, I look back and laugh. I never appreciated the true beauty and history that surrounds us. The prominent old oaks, perfect cypress trees, elegant “gro-beck” cranes, vicious gators and other wildlife should be appreciated.

In today’s time, everyone is busy, life is frantic at times and we all have to work just make ends meet, but we also have to take some time to sit back and appreciate what God has surrounded us with.

Just driving down Hwy 308, we can see old plantation homes, wildlife, vibrant plants and trees, but how many of us truly notice it?

We all have a destination in mind and get there as fast as we can, foregoing any admiration and gratitude for what physically encompasses us. For those who can’t see these images, I hope that my captures bring the beauty to them.

Scott – I know it’s cliché, but it fascinates me – If you could photograph anyone from any period of time – who would it be? Why, and how would you set the shot?

Christie – That’s an easy one, I would love to be able to photograph my mom with my children. She passed away when my youngest was only two years old. He wasn’t even speaking yet.

I know that she would be very proud of all of grandchildren and I try to keep her memory and spirit alive by speaking of her often. I don’t necessarily think I’d want a posed picture though.

I’d love to just capture some candid shots of her and my children enjoying each other, laughing, playing, and any other things that were taken from them when she was called home.

She loved New Orleans and would spend time in the French Market and Riverwalk every chance she had so it would definitely have to be shot somewhere in that area.

Scott – Lots of smart phone picture snappers to professional enthusiasts out there. What wisdom would you share with aspiring artists?

Christie – Capture everything that you see is beautiful. The way you see something is truly different from the way others see things. The one statement that I hear over and over is “you have the eye for beauty”.

I have taken pictures of light fixtures, buildings, and natural habitats that people see on a daily basis, but have been told “I have never seen it that way before.”  Don’t ever give up on anything that means something to you.

Art is always open to interpretation, something that may be beautiful to one, may not be to another. It is your way of expressing your views and emotions to others without words. Also when taking portraits, the venue should be the choice of the person being photographed.

I like to get to know the people I am photographing before doing it, in an effort to bring out their personality and charm. I’m not a huge fan of over editing faces, everyone’s natural beauty deserves to come through. This of course is just my opinion, and I have found that my clients feel the same; editing is always discussed before anything is done to photos.

Christie – thank you again for gracing us with you passion and talent. Stay safe on the job and best of success capturing the moment.

Stop by Christie Pepper’s Facebook page and hit the LIKE button. You’ll be glad you did.

Making the Picture Count \ Christie Pepper / Part 1

Capturing the Moment \ Christie Pepper / Part 2

 

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Our HOT CAR Message went viral | Just don’t do it

The Thibodaux Police Department challenges each officer to create innovative social media messaging that relates to our citizens and demonstrates our willingness to extend ourselves to serve the city.

This selfless demonstration by Public Information Officer Detective David Melancon illustrates our vision of service. Way to Geaux

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5 great ways to destroy your police career on social media

If you’re on the hunt for creative way to toss away that great career in law enforcement, I’ve got the answer for you: Be irresponsible and reckless in our use of social media

Dr. Richard Weinblatt

Weinblatt’s Tips

with Dr. Richard Weinblatt

You’ve survived years of schooling and training, along with a few good years of law enforcement service.

If you’re on the hunt for creative way to toss away that great career in law enforcement, I’ve got the answer for you: Be irresponsible and reckless in your use of social media.

Yes, you too can flush all that prestige and the honor of wearing the badge — not to mention the little issue of being able to afford to shelter and feed you and your family — just by a few well-placed posts on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, or other social media account.

If you want out of that police department or sheriff’s department job, I can almost guarantee that following the below steps will ensure that you can enjoy a life of leisure as a gainfully unemployed former law enforcement officer.

This is also good advice for those pre-service individuals seeking to destroy their career before it even gets off the ground. Quite conveniently for you, many hiring law enforcement agencies look closely at prospective hires’ social media sites in a bid to ascertain character and suitability for a judgment-oriented career in public safety.

The below examples will certainly make your need to exercise good judgment abundantly clear.

1. Contravene Confidentiality
As a law enforcement professional, you are trusted by your employer and have a duty to protect the confidentiality of information you obtain while serving your community. If you are bent on destroying that confidentiality, then by all means, do post pictures of victims of gruesome vehicle crashes on Instagram and release that detailed confidential source information in 140 descriptive characters on Twitters.

2. Bash your Boss
Be a die-hard First Amendment Free Speecher and air your feelings about your sergeant or lieutenant on your zero-privacy-settings Facebook page. Bash your boss by name. Use a picture. That’s sure to win him or her over to your point of view. Go even further and draw obscene objects on their posted picture.

3. Pornographic Pictures
While you’re on your combustible career crash, be sure to ride the wave of pornographic pictures that are all the rage on Instagram and Tumblr. Better yet, be sure to have parts of your official uniform visible hanging off of you with special attention to your department’s insignia (patch or badge – your choice) or your marked unit clearly visible in the photo. Throw in a departmentally owned weapon or two to get more bang for your buck.

4. Drugs and Alcohol
So, maybe you’re not the type to flaunt your nude or semi naked body on social media. Another variation would be the open use of your favorite illicit drug in Facebook pictures. Be sure your face is visible as you use your chosen method of ingesting that drug and go that extra mile of identifying yourself as a law enforcer.

If drugs aren’t your thing, take heart as drinking can also leave your career in ruins. Drunken behavior is always noticed by law enforcement agency chief executives, so be outrageous in your actions. Heck, have some underage folks drinking with you in the picture for some real impact. For the icing on the cake, leave that evidence tag attached from when you swiped it with the agency’s tag clearly displayed in the photo.

5. Racist Rants
Tired of being politically correct? Then go to the opposite end of the spectrum and put all sorts of racist, sexist, and homophobic rants on your Twitter. Let your inner misogynist be public. The Twitter rants approach has done wonders for Alec Baldwin’s image and it can certainly have an effect on yours with your department. Defense attorneys particularly appreciate when they discover any prejudicial or sexist attitudes that you have on display on social media and use them in court and publicly to impeach your credibility.

Make It Count
Whatever method or methods above that you pursue in the destruction of your career, be sure to do it while on duty. Use the agency’s smartphone or computer, and have all of your social media privacy settings on open to the public. You should at least have the maligning missives go through the agency’s server. That will certainly give the administration some good grounds upon which to go after you.

In all seriousness though, contrary to the above examples of what NOT to do, responsible use of your social media is the route to go in the public safety field, as well as all other careers. Eschewing these websites altogether is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I don’t advocate going without social media — I favor controlled usage of them.

Social media is a tool much like your firearm (I’ve opened up Pandora ’s Box with that analogy). It can be used to further your law enforcement career, as well as investigative and community relations duties. It can also be used to destroy your chosen career path. You control its use and a professional approach is a win for you, your employer, and the community you represent and serve.

 

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The Eulogy: 2013

 

Over the last few days I’ve witnessed so many who’ve cursed or eulogized the last year; yes 2013. Instead of rejoicing in the 365 days of life God allowed them, they dismiss the gifts of grace in hopes of happenstance instantly or magically changing their circumstances.

What makes a person believe that the tick of a second-hand tock is going to erase the hardships, the failures, the could-have-beens, the should-have-beens and the never-have-beens?

Good things happen, bad things happen, terribly horrible things happen and yes; wonderfully fantastic things happen. This is what we call “Life.”

Were there hard times in 2013? Sure. After 14 years I still miss my mother. After 7 years and counting, I still cheerlead for my son with Down syndrome to live an amazingly fantastic life. Day after day I still watch my dad as the effects of diabetes and dementia take their collective toll.

This is called “Life” and it’s a gift; rejoice in it. Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

While attending a funeral recently, an 89-year-old gentleman graced me with conversation. In sincerity and optimism he looked squarely at me and said, “Chief, life is too short. Enjoy it.”

What do you say to that?

I thought about the many who hurriedly stowed away 2013 in hopes of better times, the comment I could not respond to on life’s brevity, and my own take on the passing of one calendar year to the next.

I’m going to be honest with you; am I where I wanted to be on several levels at the end of 2013? No, not at all.

-        I wanted to increase my walk with Christ

-        I wanted to be a better father

-        I wanted to be a better son and brother

-        I wanted to be a better friend

-        I wanted to be thinner and healthier

-        I wanted to not be so guarded

-        I wanted to cycle more, and eat ice cream less (debatable)

Am I bitter? Have I plastered Facebook with admonishments over a 2013 unlived, have I darkened others’ days with tales of “unfairs” over the last year? No. Not at all. It was a fantastic year. It was a 365 day blessing of mercy that God gifted me. It was yet another year in my life well lived.

This is not an admonishment for pessimistic postings. It’s a reminder that if you think back over the course of the last year you will find;

  1. The bad things that could have been avoided, possibly required more of our time and attention.
  2. The horrible things that could not be avoided, we should be thankful that we’re still in this life to grieve, learn or recover.
  3. The good things that happened probably resulted from our hard work and dedication.
  4. The fantastic things that happened probably included someone else’s support along the way.

If you sat on your thumbs in 2013 waiting for what you thought owed and were disappointed, then sitting on your thumbs in 2014 will probably only result in much more soreness and even more criticisms come next New Year ’s Eve.

Don’t be so quick to eulogize the passing year for its failures, as they represent the “you” who experienced it. Instead, embrace the positive and learn from the each opportunity.

Failure is not getting knocked down. It’s refusing to get back up.

See you at the end of yet another superhero’ish calendar year 2014.

Scott

 

The Eulogy: 2013

 

 

 

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Social Media is The New Face of Disaster Response

July 18, 2013

NOTE: Great post from my friend Lauri Stevens at ConnectedCops.net. Please check her out!

Did you know that 76% of survivors of natural disasters use social media to let their friends know they’re safe? You can find more interesting facts about social media’s role in the wake of a natural disaster, including Sandy, in the following infographic developed by University of San Francisco’s Masters of Public Administration department. The infographic was most recently used in a congressional hearing shown on C-SPAN, demonstrating the importance of social media in a natural disaster.

Social Media is The New Face of Disaster Response [Infographic]
Have you relied upon social media for information in a crisis?

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You have the right to remain silent…especially on Facebook

You have the right to remain silent…especially on Facebook

Photo provided by QMI via MGN Online.

NOTE: Team effort article with Thibodaux Police Department’s PIO, Detective David Melancon and NBC33’s Samantha Morgan.  Originally posted at NBC33  

Samantha Morgan New Media Manager

POSTED: Friday, June 21, 2013 – 2:00pm

THIBODAUX, LA (NBC33)  — As social media sites continue to grow in popularity, so do the frequency and number of posts from its users. However, have you ever considered who’s reading your page?

“I think the important thing to remember is that you and your friends are not the only ones monitoring your Facebook account,” David Melancon, Thibodaux Police Department, said. “Law enforcement, college recruiters, and potential employers; once it’s posted and it’s out there, it’s there forever.”

Criminal investigators are routinely monitoring social media sites for incriminating evidence in cases, and you might not be their intended target.

“We had a guy in our area who video taped fights,” Melancon explained. “He had aspirations to do something in production, so he would follow people around and video tape these fights.

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

 

We caught wind of this, so we monitored his Facebook and YouTube posts because he would provide the evidence we needed to correlate with complaints. He made our job very easy because the evidence was there on tape. It’s hard to deny your involvement in a crime when you’re face is shown committing the crime.”

Building a case does not end with an arrest. Rather, that’s when detectives continue to search for additional evidence to be used in the court case. Too often people will discuss on social media information related to the crime for which they are accused.

“Everything that you post on social media, we can take that and put it in your case file,” Melancon noted. “It can show up as evidence in your trial. When you discuss your case and provide information that you would only know if you were there, then that’s evidence.”

But I have my profile set to private, so I’m safe, right?

“I think there’s a misconceived notion that you have a right to privacy when you post on a public site. You really don’t have a reasonable expectation to privacy,” he said.

“We would be foolish not to utilize that and incorporate it into a case. It’s not our only tool, or our primary tool, but it is a tool.”

Setting your profile to private only restricts individuals you are not friends with from seeing your posts. Do you know every one of your social media friends personally?

“How many times have you befriended people you don’t know? You just hit ‘accept’ because you say, ‘oh, they seem nice,’” Melancon explained.

Could one of my friends be a cop?

Absolutely.

Although this may seem like a tricky way to gain information, it’s very similar to more traditional police methods.

“It’s similar to an undercover police officer who goes into a home posing as a drug dealer and has recording devices on him,” Melancon explained.

“If that officer is talking to the person who is making incriminating statements and selling dope and spilling the beans about the entire drug operation, that officer will walk out of the home with all the information he needs for an arrest and use it against them in court.”

The reason why this is legal is because you were not coerced to make the statements. However, if they were identified as a police officer, you would have to be read your rights.

“If they don’t know they’re speaking to a police officer, they cannot argue that they were compelled to give that information,” Melancon said.

“In addition, talking about crimes you’ve committed but not the ones specific to your case can be used as character reference.

“For example, if you’re dealing with a first time offender, the argument might be that the person has never committed a crime, but we might find information suggesting that the person has been doing this for a long time, but hasn’t gotten caught until now.”

Hudson, Manhattan

You post onto a global glass house

 

Although the odds are your page is not being monitored by police, or potential employers and college recruiters, it is important to remember that every post or comment you make is a representation of who you are as a person.

“I like to tell people to imagine that you are standing in the middle of a glass house with the entire community looking at you,” Melancon noted.

“Would you do or say the same thing if those people were looking? That’s the same thing you’re doing online.”

You have the right to remain silent…especially on Facebook

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