Tag Archives: social media
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
Report by NBC33: Samantha Morgan
THIBODAUX, LA (NBC33) — Law enforcement is all too often placed in the role of being reactionary. However, the Thibodaux Police Department has implemented a new proactive method that’s gaining positive results for the department as well as the community.
“We’re working smarter, not harder,” David Melancon, Thibodaux Police Department, explained. “We take a data-led approach, and through this approach we’re seeing great results.”
Two years ago, Chief Scott Silverii took over the Thibodaux Police Department. Utilizing the DDACTS (Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety) is one of the many policy changes he has made.
“The traditional way of law enforcement is very reactive. You ride around and wait for a call. We operate off of an intelligence paradigm,” Chief Silverii explained. “We place officers in the right place at the right time. We’ve become very proactive in the way we approach law enforcement.”
Officers are given real-time data and statistics to determine where their efforts are most needed. Although the city has a low level of violent criminal offences, crimes of opportunity and those considered to cause social harm are the primary focus.
“Those are crimes that prevent a person from having comfort in our person or property,” Melancon explained. “We deal with a lot of property crimes, domestic cases, fighting, thefts, and so on.”
Among those crimes considered to cause social harm are DWI offenses.
“We consider that to be one of the most serious in-progress crimes,” Melancon said. “When you have people who are behind the wheel driving drunk, they have the potential of killing an entire family – all because that person drove under the influence. If you really want to reduce social harm and want people to feel safe, DWI enforcement is the place to start.
The DDACTS system has dramatically improved the statistics in the area for alcohol related traffic offenses.
This year the Thibodaux Police Department has made over 200 DWI arrests, and there has not been a single alcohol-related crash in the city.
In 2010, the year before the new system was implemented, the department only made 22 arrests for the entire year. That same year there were 16 alcohol-related crashes with injury.
“This isn’t an accident,” Chief Silverii said. “This isn’t a coincidence. This is very orchestrated.”
Along with a reduction of traffic crashes, the Thibodaux Police Department has seen a reduction in other offences such as property crimes and crimes against persons.
“It’s not about harassing the public, it’s about being proactive,” Chief Silverii explained. “Every time those blue lights come on, it has an awesome deterrent effect. Whether you’re stopping a drunk driver, or making a traffic stop, seeing those lights might deter a person from committing a criminal act in the area.”
Being active in the community extends beyond the physical, however. Chief Silverii is also pushing the use of social media to increase transparency with the public.
“I think the public is tired of just listening,” he said. “By reciprocating communications, it ingrains us into the community we serve.”
He is also working to develop a mobile app that members of the community can use to report crime.
“Traditionally, only 41 percent of crimes are reported,” Chief Silverii noted. “The old way of just calling 911 has gone to the wayside. I’m pushing to offer an app. The younger generation is more accustom to texting, and we want to remove any barrier that would prevent them from reporting crime.”
Chief Silverii has more plans that will help move Thibodaux toward its goal of being the safest community in the nation. For now, the changes that have already been made are making a great impact.
“We’ve seen a reduction in social crimes. Officer productivity has increased. “It’s a cultural revolution. It’s breaking the thin blue line and going about a new way of business.”
Join us: Breaking the Blue Line | Launch a revolution
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
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
2. Bash your Boss
3. Pornographic Pictures
4. Drugs and Alcohol
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
Make It Count
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.
What’s With This Person?
I was speaking with a Law Enforcement Agency’s Commander about an officer who just did not seem to grasp an agency’s vision. Although clearly communicated over the last several years in agency-wide meetings, in-services, e-mails, social media, and personal conversations the officer just refuses to “get on board.”
This Commander is fully committed to the city, the agency and the progressive vision of the administration. The officer, uh…..not so much. In our last conversation about this officer the Commander asked, “Why can’t the officer just see what we are building?”
I replied that he is a “laggard.” He knew me well enough to understand that there was more, much more behind that term. Enjoying the dramatic pause, I then followed with “and you are an innovator!” He was still not convinced my response addressed the adversarial officer.
The Spread of Great Ideas
How do great ideas spread, what does it take for a product to catch the public’s imagination or why do organizations adopt behaviors as acceptable? There is a term originating from the social sciences called Diffusion of Innovations.
The term seeks to explain how, why and at what rate do new ideas and technology spread through various cultures. Consider the domestic application of fire. Someone’s great, great, great…grandfather had an experience with fire in a manner positively affecting the quality of his life. This also benefited the community, thus the culture of early human groupings and prosperity.
Had that innovation been quenched by an elder for the sake of maintaining tribal traditions, where would we be today? Literally; in the dark.
Obviously this innovation was replicated by the few with a capacity for appreciating, understanding, and promoting the domestic use of fire. Even though, how did a torch in Asia Minor spread to the Pacific Northwest?
Fire, like the progressive vision of an administration, requires four elements influencing the adoption, implementation and sustainment of the vision.
2. Communication channels
4. Social systems
Relying on human capital to promote the wide-spread adoption of the new idea is critical for establishing it as a cornerstone of an administration. A Neanderthal passed that first torch, who then passed the next torch, and so on.
A Chief of Police (sometimes called a Neanderthal) shares their fire with a new vision, an organizational ideal or an operational paradigm shift. Then they wait for the agency to openly embrace the progressive public service direction. Then wait and wait.
Stop wasting your time waiting for something to happen. It won’t, and you will be like the solo caveman before the successful caveman who introduced fire to humanity.
The first one probably sat in a cave alone thinking how awesome and hot his new idea was. He never shared that flame, that fire, that passion for improving the collective culture. He probably expired in the cold after that flash extinguished.
I understood this concept as a new chief and strategically planned the introduction of my vision for organizational change. It was not wrapped around ego, but founded upon scientific principles of administration, theory, data analysis and old-fashioned accountability.
The Innovation element was the organizational reliance upon data with NHTSA’s Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS). This proven philosophy has realized significant reductions in social harms formerly plaguing communities deserving a better quality of life.
The Communications Channels used agency-wide introductions, e-mails, social media, public presentations and personal conversations to share the vision with actionable items for achieving quantifiable goals and performance standards. The element of time is the most difficult, because as chiefs we want it done yesterday. It is our idea, so it must be great and accepted immediately.
Time is critical, as is timing. I always reassure my staff that I will not be out worked or out waited. If you have been on the job more than a year, you know what I mean. Time can be your friend or your enemy. In a fraternity where the primary goal becomes earning pension, they also know how to leverage “time” against your innovative ideas.
The final element required for achieving diffusion of innovations are Social Systems. Who do you go to lunch with regularly? How many mealtimes have you and posse in tow walked out past other officers? As the leader of any organization it is vital that you do not allow that sense of comfort to control your actions. The perception of segregation or elitism spills water on the flame of your vision. Re-engage your team with your time and sincere attention.
Back to Officer Laggard. I explained to the Commander that an idea needs to reach a point of critical mass before becoming part of the culture. Reality is, not everyone will adopt your vision, as not everyone thought the “Flowbee” was great for cutting their own hair.
After convincing enough in your agency that the passion behind the vision produces sustainable results, they will also promote your vision and embrace it as their own. The good news is, you do not have to gain the support of every individual to obtain critical mass.
The “S” Curve Chart
This is where I should have paid more attention in math and statistics courses, but here it goes. Remember the Bell curve that spared so many of us from failing grades? It’s here again to demonstrate the phases and population adoption percentages for achieving critical mass (acceptance.)
The Diffusion of Innovations “S” Curve chart
Cultural Innovators & Early Adopters
Cultural innovation, be it fire or an IPhone involve four types of people. Only a small percentage of the culture is Innovators. Only one Steve Jobs, William Bratton, or you! These innovations are embraced by the Early Adopters. These are the officers embracing the new zero tolerance for DWI enforcement, or the first in line for the IPhone 76. They will carry the flag of your vision faithfully, regardless the cost or inconvenience.
Your first big slice of the culture’s population is the Early Majority. Great news is, you are no longer the single voice preaching the powerfully positive influences of your vision. You’ve collected other Innovators and Early Adopters to carry your banner. You have now achieved critical mass, and your policies, practices and persona are eligible for cultural sustainment. Eligible I say, because nothing is guaranteed.
Rounding down the employee pool is the Late Majority who will comply because the others seem to be benefitting from it. This group will not respond to your motivational plea, only to your very specific directions for what it is you want them to accomplish. These employees are not contrary to the agency’s objective, but they are a reality and must be included in the vision sharing.
Finally, Officer Laggard. He will only embrace your ideology when placed in personal jeopardy. Let off the pedal and they are back to a dead stop. While you may rejoice once Officer Laggard retires, resigns or finds employment in a scrapyard, it is short-lived euphoria.
There will always be a percentage, although a very small subculture of your population, as laggards.
Maintain your focus and your presence. Laggards drain your creative energies and distract you from providing your best positive mentoring attentions to those officers willing to trust the new direction.
Energy & Equity
Being successful in leadership also involves the wise expenditure of personal energy and equity investments. A sure way to fail in supervision is believing you can satisfy everyone. Don’t neglect fanning the flames of your “team” because the laggard wants to sit out in the dark.
Maybe the nocturnal wolf of unemployment will snatch him!
Learn more about this article here:
Rogers, E. M. (1960). Social change in rural society: A textbook in rural sociology. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Rogers, E. M. (1962). Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press.
Scott Silverii, PhD is a native of south Louisiana’s Cajun Country and serving as the Chief of Police for the City of Thibodaux, Louisiana. Spending twenty-one previous years with a CALEA accredited Sheriff’s Office allowed opportunities for serving various capacities including 12 years narcotics, 16 years SWAT and Divisional Commands. Chief Silverii earned a Master of Public Administration and a Doctorate in Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans, focusing his research on aspects of culture and organizations. A member of IACP’s prestigious Research Advisory Committee, Chief Silverii, author of “A Darker Shade of Blue: From Public Servant to Professional Deviant” and contributor for TheBadgeGuys, is available at firstname.lastname@example.org, @ThibodauxChief, or http://scottsilverii.com
Chief Silverii first posted this article at Law Enforcement Today; Cops and Cavemen; Come out of the Cold
NOTE: I am posting this message received for two reasons;
1. It was sent via social media, so I trust I’m not violating a confidence by posting.
2. It is possibly the nicest message I have received, and moves me to know that our actions, as important as our words, speak volumes about who we are and what we do.
Hi, Scott. I found your sight by clicking on a twitter link tweeted by an author friend. I was curious because of your twitter name. You see, I am a novelist, but I am also a parent of a Nicholls State student. In fact, the last time my husband and I visited (we are from TX), we were sitting in the Weeping Willow cafe and two cops walked in for lunch.
Everyone in the place greeted them, addressing one as “chief.” But what impressed us most was that these two men bowed their heads and prayed before eating. I take it one of those men was you! As we come for graduation in December, we will be sad to say goodbye to the town that has meant so much to our child.
Thank you for making it a safe place for to live and learn. And thank you for being a man of public faith and integrity. God has obviously given you great favor and success. Bless you!
As public servants, it is not often we receive kind gestures of encouragement or faith. It is also true that our actions as public servants might cause others to think negatively of us.
Though it is an absolute affirmative that if you serve God first, then your community before yourself, you may be persecuted, but will always find favor in Christ.
Chief of Police Scott Silverii: Who Knew?
NOTE: Originally prepared for Lee Lofland’s Graveyard Shift
Arriving into Greensboro, NC’s airport I had no idea or expectation for what awaited me at the 2013 WPA. Stepping off the plane I saw a lady holding a piece of paper with what looked like my name written on it. Since I sit in the last rows when traveling (cop thing) I figured it was for me. Who knew?
Meeting Lee Lofland, Rick McMahan (ATF Agent) and Mike Roche (Secret Service Agent) was like a family reunion for folks who’d never met. The cop fraternity bonds us regardless of being strangers (cop thing). These men were the kindest, most humble professionals I’ve ever met. Who knew?
Lee said the writers would be the most curious and information starved crew I’ll ever present to. Sometimes officers in training are bored and cynical (cop thing). I was inundated with questions. With smart, insightful, knowledgeable, hilarious and challenging questions. Who knew?
I was so nervous before my first presentation; Chiefs v. Sheriffs. Not knowing what to expect from the writers, I could just see my information as being boring or irrelevant to their needs or interests. Both sessions included laughs, great comments, cutting edge questions and inquisitive hands raised. Who knew?
Day 2’s presentations; SWAT – From Let’s Roll to Code 4 was even more nerve wracking. I’ve not seen main characters written as SWAT Operators. Most plots set the SWAT team in the hall ready to roll, as a detective whose short sleeve button down shirt stretches across his broad belly while he kicks in the door with a snub nose revolver in hand. The crime writers were totally energized, and promised to never write the sloppy detective kicking in the door scenario ever again. Who knew?
The “real” VIPS, as Lee let slip in front of Rick, Mike and me (kidding) were entertaining, educational and just amazing. Writing and presenting are two very different skill sets. Mastering both; Dr. Dan Krane, Kathy Reichs and Lisa Gardner were informal, approachable and inspiring. Who knew?
The banquet allowed me an opportunity to continue conversations about writing and ideas and penning passions to paper. It was such a great time and then CJ Lyons asked me to sign my book. Sign my book? I froze. It’s CJ Lyons. I have no pen. I have no idea what to write. She was kind enough to say, “You’ve got till desert time to come up with a pen and autograph line.” Who knew?
I took away an understanding of distinction. The speakers were fantastic, and they are talented celebrities. The writers; those who burn with a passion for understanding policing to memorialize them in story and script are the real VIPs. They were aggressive, inquisitive, razor-sharp on details and tenacious for taking away everything available. SWAT class included talk about a certain tattoo. In joking I responded that it was on a covered part of my body. In unison, both classes demanded to see it. Who knew!!!
Leaving on Sunday, I felt a tug at my heart as I said good-bye to Lee and Mike, and several writers I met during the weekend. I came there as a long-time SWAT and chief of police offering information and experiences. I left believing that I too, might just be a writer. Who knew?
I offered my e-mail at WPA and have been joyously overwhelmed by the communications with so many of the VIPS. I’m enjoying and learning so much from everyone I’ve chatted with. A writer was so kind as to use me as her character base, and promised to make me taller, but she refused to negotiate on giving me less gray hair.
A Darker Shade of Blue: From Public Servant to Professional Deviant is still available on Amazon, but will (might) go deep undercover once the Taylor & Francis Group (CRC Press) releases Cop Culture: Why Good Cops Go Bad in January 2014. Lee Lofland willing, I’ll see you at WPA 2014. I might even show ya’ll that tattoo.