- Contact Name: Senior Officer Mike McCoy
- Contact Phone: 713.308.3206
- Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: 9/6/2010
The Houston Police Department (HPD) employs 5,200 officers and serves a diverse population of 2.3 million in the large, urban city located in southwestern Texas.
In March 2008, HPD Senior Officer Mike McCoy noticed a disconnect existed between applicants and the department. The current paper application system left many potential recruits with a sense of uncertainty and a lack of understanding about their potential new employer as well as their future career. Many applicants and jobseekers had questions about law enforcement in general and the HPD specifically. To solve this issue, Officer McCoy proposed the development of a department blog that would provide insight and serve as a resource to jobseekers, applicants, and new recruits. With the support of his command staff, Officer McCoy launched the blog with great success.
Officer McCoy maintains the blog himself, spending up to an hour a day generating and publishing content. He draws on over 28 years of law enforcement experience, remembering back to his days as both a potential and new recruit. He also occasionally receives ideas from others within the department, as well as from those who regularly read his blog. The HPD blog contains stories, information, videos, and pictures, with a new post published every weekday. The blog also contains a link to Officer McCoy’s e-mail address, giving community members the ability to communicate directly with an HPD officer. Officer McCoy responds to each e-mail, of which he receives up to 50 a day.
Officer McCoy has had the opportunity to talk with many of his blog readers who have become HPD officers. Many relay feelings of gratitude to him and the blog for giving them a personal connection to the HPD while others admit that the blog was the sole reason they applied to HPD.
What started as a recruitment-focused blog with approximately 15 hits per day, has now become a widespread phenomena with over 1500 site views daily. Even as the blog evolves to encompass more than just recruitment, HPD applicants are still the main audience.
When asked what advice he has for others joining the blogosphere, Officer McCoy replied simply, “keep it real.” A blog is not a place to copy and paste news releases. Instead, this is a forum that gives officers the ability to humanize themselves and their profession; a place to share insight that the public, and in this case, potential recruits, cannot get anywhere else.