According to a release sent out by the City of Redwood City, the California Peace Officers' Association's Award of Distinction is presented each year to a small number of selected law enforcement agencies for outstanding accomplishments and ongoing operational activities that perform great service to their communities.
Department members will be present to receive the award at a state-wide leadership summit in Ontario in November.
During the past year, the department's Social Media Team has connected and informed residents through innovative strategies such as Video Chat, virtual town hall meetings, virtual ride-a-longs, and multi-lingual outreach. The Social Media Team, which was formed in 2011, is comprised of personnel from across the department, including patrol officers, detectives, command staff, and a youth specialist.
One particular program, Video Chat, had received national and international media attention. The program prompted IDG's Computerworld to select Police Chief JR Gamez as a 2013 Premier 100 IT Leaders honoree, which acknowledges individuals who have had a positive impact on their organization through exceptional technology leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges. And in 2012, the program was awarded the Connected COPS: Excellence at a Small Agency Award, making it the only law enforcement agency in the U.S. selected in any recipient category.
An example of the department implementing its social media strategies to assist a community member in need came in 2012 when a family reported an elderly non-English speaking family member visiting from Japan missing. The Social Media Team published a community alert with a photograph of the missing woman to over 1300 email and text mobile device subscribers, and then posted the information to the Police Department's 4700+ Facebook and Twitter followers. In less than 13 minutes, a social media subscriber notified the Department of the disoriented missing person's whereabouts and she was reunited with her family.
Throughout 2013, the Department continued to expand the strategy of utilizing social media to engage in participatory dialogue with the community. The Department consistently began utilizing a variety of social media tools including Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, YouTube, Flickr, NIXLE and Vimeo, which were used to provide a variety of interactive platforms that offered familiarity and ease of use to community members.
For more information on the Redwood City Police Department's Social Media Program or get connected to its social media pages, visit: http://www.redwoodcity.org/police/SocialMedia.html