If you’re looking at your training budget for the year trying to decide the best path for professional growth, the IACP Public Information Officer (PIO) Midyear Conference co-hosted by the Aurora, Colorado, Police Department is a conference you don’t want to miss.
From new officers transitioning into the role of PIO to veterans looking to learn from other agencies across the country, the conference will have something for public information officers of all skill levels. Several members of the Aurora Police Department will talk about the tragic Century 21 Theater shootings, from how the PIO managed the mass shooting, to how the agency created a PIO-family liaison program to help communication with the victims’ families. The District Attorney who prosecuted the case will also speak about the challenges of trying the case in a national spotlight.
The perfect follow up to those intense sessions will be a presentation from a local police and public safety psychology specialist about combatting burnout from the electronic leash to which so many PIOs are attached.
On the other side of the digital coin, there will be a panel sure to elicit laughs and gasps when you see how their agency uses Twitter. The Personalities on Twitter session will feature law enforcement PIOs from Denver, Wyoming (Minnesota), Pasco (Florida) and Lawrence (Kansas) whose agency tweets often generate national attention for the responses, hashtags, gifs and photos.
Westminster, Colorado, Police Department PIOs will talk about how they used social media to communicate with the public for 23 intense days during the Jessica Ridgeway case, during which a 10-year-old girl went missing and was later found murdered.
In contrast, when wildfires raged through the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, there was scant social media use by agencies at the time. However, a tremendous amount of messaging was being distributed by the many different governmental agencies involved. Listen to an involved PIO share how they balanced that crush of information and criticism—as well as why social media was not used for certain aspects—all while in the national spotlight.
The Mountain View, California, Police Department PIO will teach you about a relatively unused but powerful storytelling tool—the podcast! From free recording tools to storytelling options, become a podcast prodigy in a time when the push for many has become video first.
Attendees will also learn valuable lessons about the fatal friendly fire shooting of an undercover officer at the Prince George’s County, Maryland, Police Department. Their strategy to release detailed information quickly helped them manage the national media, keep their local community informed and respond to the law enforcement critics who used this crisis to further their cause on social media.
The Alameda County, California, Sheriff’s Office will explain how they got their nationally-recognized, successful drone program off the ground using smart communication tactics from the start. Attendees will learn about the pros and cons of starting a drone program, including lessons learned, perceptions, privacy rights, media messaging and accountability. PIOs will also explain how successful programs keep officers, rescuers, suspects and victims safer and reduce liability and risk.
These are just some of the incredible presentations you’ll hear.
In addition to this great learning experience, you will also have the opportunity to meet and get to know PIOs from law enforcement agencies across the country. Your fellow colleagues will be great resources for you when you have questions about social media, go through your own high profile incidents or just want to bounce ideas off of someone who understands your world.
We hope you will join us in Aurora, Colorado, on May 8, 9 and 10th! For more information and to register for the midyear conference, visit http://www.iacp.org/PIOMidYear.