- Contact Name: Public Affairs Manager Karie Partington
- Contact Phone: 239.793.9145
- Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: 9/10/2010
Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) is situated in southern Florida, and serves a population of 333,032. The sheriff’s office has approximately 1,280 employees, with 68% of them being sworn deputies and the remaining 32% being civilians.
The five person CCSO public information team had been engaged in social media on a personal level for some time when they realized the implications these tools had for their agency. They began with blogging and gradually moved into Facebook, Twitter, and the development of their own online television station, ccso.tv. To craft an informal strategy, the public information team began looking at the successful marketing plans of big businesses like Target and Starbucks, and then incorporated various aspects into their new initiative.
As the CCSO moved forward with social media engagement, they quickly realized that their new endeavors fit right in with their communications and outreach strategy. The number one goal of CCSO’s social media initiatives is no different than their number one goal for all agency operations: to inform the community so they can make knowledgeable choices and be true partners in keeping Collier County a great place and a safe place.
When the community goes online for news, the CCSO wants them to turn to ccso.tv, the CCSO website, or the CCSO social media sites for information. For example, when area residents were concerned about hovering police helicopters in their area, CCSO posted a video where a pilot explained the FLIR (Forward Looking Infa-Red) System, how it was used, and the successes they had using it to find missing children, wanted persons, etc. Sheriff Kevin Rambosk received very positive feedback from community members, not only for the insight that CCSO provided, but also how the agency saw a need in the community and responded to that need to allay their concerns.
The ccso.tv site offers something for everyone with videos for kids, teens, and adults, all on a variety of topics. All video production, from filming to editing to Web conversion, is done in-house by the public information team. Without the distraction of extraneous content that one would encounter on YouTube, users are more likely to continue to click around the ccso.tv site, viewing more videos produced by the CCSO, rather than clicking away to view unrelated videos.
When asked what tips they had for others the CCSO public information team suggested looking at the marketing techniques of successful businesses, much like they did when they were getting started. Also, research your options; there are numerous tools and resources available to help an agency get started at little or no cost. And their final tip was “Don’t be afraid.” Social media is an opportunity, and so law enforcement should not be afraid to embrace it.