Everyone within a police, sheriff’s or public safety agency, has a role and responsibility for good public and media relations. If you are in public service or have loved ones and friends that are serving their communities, you’ve likely felt and understand the impact that negative incidents locally & nationally have on everyone. Your community stands with you most of the time and are ready to help in any way they can. Good Police Public Relations & community engagement can be as easy as a kind gesture, brief connection, shared experience, etc.
A police officer in Texas was at a restaurant paying for his breakfast and noticed a uniformed soldier eating alone. The officer asked the cashier to add the soldier’s bill to his and headed back to patrol.
The soldier was very moved by the officer’s simple gesture and told his wife. She posted the story on social media and her husband was able to thank the officer.
We all know officers and deputies that are making a difference and doing special things that don’t make the news or social media. “Learn to tell on each other about good and positive things that you and your colleagues do every day.”
North Las Vegas Police Officer Nicolas Quintana responded to a shots fired, homicide call that left 5-kids without a father. The officer and his wife took a leap of faith and decided to adopt all the children together.
Cell phones, doorbell cameras, body cams and all are our reality and potentially pointed in your direction at any moment. There will always be a segment of the population ready to start recording, texting & posting furiously. It is more important than ever for everyone to think about positive police public relations. Look for the positive stories of police officers, deputies, public safety officers and firefighters making a difference in their communities.
A Little Rock Police Officer was looking for a homeless woman that missed an important birthday visit with her children. The officer located her, but she had no phone or car to make the appt. the following day. The officer promised that he would meet her the next day and take her to the appt. They met up and went to the appt. He noticed that she did not have the birthday cake. The officer left for a short errand and returned a few minutes later with a large cake, plates & utensils.
The woman was very grateful & emotional about the officer’s kindness & gesture.
Our world of news and social media means everyone is “news-worthy” and no one is safe from the spotlight. If you lose your cool or make a simple mistake, it could damage your reputation and police community relations. Your mistake and reaction could be immortalized on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube for years.
It’s important to think of good police public relations like a rainy-day fund. You put in a little at a time and build it up. Hopefully when the heavy rain comes, you’ll have enough to take you through the storm.
Police-community relations depends on the public having trust and respect for police, sheriffs, public safety, fire, and other first responders that are serving them and knowing that they uphold the core values of respect and professionalism.
When it comes to social media, and police public relations, don’t take chances. Don’t post anything that would make your mother, grandmother, or chief cringe or embarrassed. If in doubt, Don’t!