Officer Safety When the Public Uses Social Media in a Crisis

This blog series highlights some of the top Social Media Beat posts from the last couple years. For more information about IACP’s Center for Social Media visit the project webpage. This post was originally published on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Guest Blogger: Billy Grogan, Chief of Police, Dunwoody, Georgia, Police Department

Right at this moment while you are reading this post, a police department somewhere across the country is dealing with a crisis.  These crises vary in length, public awareness, outcome and many other factors.  You may never hear about some and others may be on the news for days, weeks or even months.  They involve murder, rape, assault, kidnapping, barricaded suspects, manhunts and many other crimes and tragedies.  Although they can be very dissimilar, they do have one factor in common.  The public taking photos and videos of the incidents and posting the information to their social media channels can put officers at risk.

In 2014, agencies in the Seattle, Washington area asked citizens to Tweet Smart and used the hashtag #TweetSmart.  They asked their community to not post information, photos or video on social media showing the movement, location or tactics being used by police officers during police incidents where the information could possibly put officers at risk.  The agencies also were concerned that citizens might put themselves at risk trying to get that information for social media.  Of course the real fear is suspects may be monitoring social media and get information and use that information to hurt police officers.

In 2011 in Ogden, Utah, that actually happened.  A suspect was barricaded in a hotel and had a hostage.  The suspect was updating his Facebook page during the standoff and was told the police were right outside his window.  Officers were definitely put at risk.  Fortunately, no officers were injured.

It seems like this issue pops up from time to time in various communities across the country after they have a crisis.  Recently, the Evansville Police Department was engaged in a 13 hour standoff.  There were a lot of people watching the event unfold posting photos and videos on social media.  Thankfully, no officers were injured as a result of this action.  However, the department spoke out afterwards about the danger of citizens posting information about real-time events that may put officer’s lives at risk.

Rather than wait for a crisis, law enforcement agencies should take a proactive approach and address this issue periodically before experiencing a critical incident.  When you are in the middle of one of these incidents it can be extremely difficult to control what the public is putting on social media.  Although it could still happen, your agency will have a much better chance of mitigating this activity if you have made a concentrated effort to educate your community about this dangerous activity.  Let’s all #TweetSmart!

Posted in Social Media

IACP Names Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Europe

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Nóirín O’Sullivan, former Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, the Republic of Ireland’s police force, as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Europe.

The Director of Strategic Partnerships for Europe is a newly created position at the IACP, and an instrumental step by the association to further expand its global reach and representation. For the first time in IACP’s history, a staff member will be based outside of the United States to help enhance the services to our worldwide membership that is located in 150 countries.

Commissioner O’Sullivan brings to the IACP over 30 years of invaluable law enforcement experience. Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has shown an unwavering commitment to the law enforcement profession, and will be a great asset to the association and the global profession.

O’Sullivan served as the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána from March 2014 – September 2017. She was the first woman to lead the Gardai in its 92-year history. She has had a long and decorated history within the Gardai, first joining in 1981. O’Sullivan is a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute’s law-enforcement course for police chiefs worldwide. She also holds first class honors in diploma and MA courses in business and advanced management from the Michael Smurfit School of Business in University College Dublin (UCD). In 2015, she was honored at the UCD foundation day alumni awards receiving the Alumni Business Award. Sullivan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Ulster for Distinguished Public Service. She is also a graduate of the Executive Education Program – Driving Government Performance at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

The IACP is honored to have former Commissioner O’Sullivan join us. Commissioner O’Sullivan will arrive later in the Fall and will be based in Ireland.

Posted in Breaking News, Global Policing, IACP, Jobs, Leadership, Membership, Press Release

IACP 2017 in Pictures – Day 4

chiefs night 1

Hope everyone had a great time at Chief’s Night last night! 

critial issues forum

Great discussion during this morning’s Critical Issues Forum. 

Perscpective series

Final Perspective Series on How to Find, Hire, and Keep the Finest. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2017 conference!

Posted in Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference General Information

Leading Law Enforcement Organizations Release Companion Document to National Consensus Policy On Use Of Force

As part of our long-standing commitment to advancing the profession of law enforcement and the practice of policing, eleven leading law enforcement leadership and labor organizations continued their work to provide guidance to the law enforcement profession on de-escalation techniques, less-lethal force, and deadly force.

The extensive work of the participating organizations resulted in the development of a companion Discussion Paper to supplement the Consensus Policy on Use of Force that was published in January 2017. The combined National Consensus Policy and Discussion Paper on Use of Force document represents our collaborative efforts to advance the law enforcement profession, while upholding our commitment and duty to serve the public and preserve all human life.

The National Consensus Discussion Paper on Use of Force is designed to provide essential background material and supporting documentation to promote greater understanding of the developmental philosophy and implementation guidelines for the Consensus Policy. Law agencies are encouraged to utilize the Discussion Paper and the information contained therein to better inform their decisions on whether to implement the various elements found in the Consensus Policy in their own agencies.

The National Consensus Discussion Paper on Use of Force and Consensus Policy adopted by these organizations reflects the best thinking of all consensus organizations and is solely intended to serve as a template for law enforcement agencies to compare, contrast, and enhance their existing policies.


The 11 supporting organizations include:

  • Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies
  • Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association
  • International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training
  • National Association of Police Organizations
  • National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives
  • National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
  • National Tactical Officers Association
Posted in Breaking News, Policy

2017 IACP Leadership Awards

The IACP Awards program provides law enforcement around the world an opportunity to recognize achievement and share promising practices. The IACP and award sponsors are honored to recognize and   congratulate the 2017 winners. This year’s winners are innovators, problem solvers, and leaders. They work tirelessly to improve their agencies and the communities they serve and represent some of the best in law enforcement.

Find out what make these award winners stand out by visiting the award pages linked below and reading about these innovative programs.

Winners will be recognized at the conclusion of the 2017 IACP Annual Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Looking for other IACP awards? Visit the IACP Awards webpage for information on 40 Under 40, Police Officer of the Year, Trooper of the Year, and Indian Country Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.



Posted in Annual Conference and Exposition, Awards, Uncategorized

IACP 2017 in Pictures – Day 3

Crowd day 3

Standing room only at the General Assembly this morning.

40 under 40 day 3

Congratulations to the 40 Under 40 award winners!

the hub.JPG

Stop by the Hub to write on the graffiti wall, exchange patches, and view presentations.

day 3.JPG

Many Committees met today to learn about new IACP resources and to discuss topics important to the profession.

Posted in Annual Conference and Exposition, Uncategorized

IACP 2017 in Pictures – Day 2


The Philadelphia Mummers entertain the crowds prior to the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

ribbon cutting

The IACP Executive Board and Platinum Sponsors at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, opening up the Exhibit Hall. 


Simon Sinek at a Q&A this morning. 


Attendees listen to Orlando Police Chief John Mina provide an in-depth look at the agency’s response and the aftermath. 

Wray use

FBI Director Christopher Wary shares his thoughts and priorities for the FBI. 


Explorers from Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey attend IACP 2017 today. 

Posted in Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference General Information, Uncategorized

New Resources on Officer Safety and Violence Against Police

IACP President De Lucca’s Task Force to Address Global Violence Against Law letimageEnforcement is pleased to release the resources below.

Read more about the work of President De Lucca’s task force in this IACP blog series and in this Law Enforcement Technology magazine article.

Attendees at the IACP Annual Conference in Philadelphia are encouraged to attend the educational session summarizing the efforts of the task force on Monday at 3pm. Hard copies of the below resources will be available at this workshop and at IACP Central and The Hub.

chiefsdutyCoverPreventing Line-of-Duty Deaths: A Chief’s Duty
Key considerations to improve officer safety and prevent line-of-duty deaths

This agency self-assessment tool is designed to help law enforcement leaders evaluate their agency’s efforts to address the safety needs of officers. Use this tool to proactively examine the range of critical officer safety strategies and determine areas where your agency can improve.  Categories of evaluation include

  • Equipment
  • Health & Wellness
  • Offender Management
  • Training & Tactics
  • Community Trust & Partnerships

 New IACP Training Key: Officer Safety and Violence Against the Policetkimgae

Drawing on guidance found in related IACP model policies and training documents, this training key covers officer safety considerations for situations that most frequently result in felonious death or injury of officers, including

  • Ambushes
  • Motor Vehicle Stops
  • Arrests
  • Executing Warrants
  • Domestic Violence Calls, and
  • Responding to Persons Affected by Mental Illness

This training key can be easily adapted for an in-service training or series of roll call briefings.

loddreportMonthly Line-of-Duty Death Reports

IACP partnered with the Officer Down Memorial Page to revise the monthly Line of Duty Death report, which is distributed to membership each month via the IACP e-newsletter and posted to the Center for Officer Safety and Wellness website.  IACP and ODMP are committed to honoring fallen law enforcement officers while also raising awareness about line-of-duty deaths, including related trends and causal factors.  To that end this report, suitable for ready room display and discussion, features a reader-friendly infographic and concise summaries of each incident grouped by cause.

Special thanks to the task force members

  • Dianne Bernhard, Executive Director, Concerns of Police Survivors
  • Jami Cook, Executive Director, Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy
  • Darryl De Sousa, Deputy Commissioner, Baltimore City Police Department
  • Robin Engel, Vice President for Safety & Reform, University of Cincinnati
  • Wayne Jerman, Chief of Police, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Police Department
  • Joe Kistle, Chief of Police (Ret.), Franklin Borough (NJ) Police Department
  • Tim Lowery, Chief of Police, Florissant, Missouri, Police Department
  • Brad Schimel, Attorney General, Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Doug Scott, Chief of Police (Ret.), Arlington County (VA) Police Department
  • Kerry Sleeper, Assistant Director, Office of Partner Engagement, FBI
  • Rick Smith, Chief of Police, Wakefield (MA) Police Department
  • Stan Standridge, Chief of Police, Abilene (TX) Police Department
  • Beau Thurnauer, Deputy Chief, East Hartford (CT) Police Department
  • David Zack, Chief of Police, Cheektowga (NY) Police Department
Posted in Crime and Violence, Uncategorized | Tagged

IACP 2017 in Pictures – Day 1


Attendees register and start off their conference experience.


IACP President Donald De Lucca introduces other members of the IACP Board at the First-Timers’ Orientation, a must-attend session for conference newcomers. 

Pipe and Drum

Members of the Philadelphia Pipes and Drums set the stage for the Opening Ceremony.

PPD Commissioner

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. welcomes attendees and kicks off the 2017 Opening Ceremony.

Simon (2)

Opening Ceremony keynote speaker Simon Sinek discusses leadership in the policing profession.

Opening Ceremony Crowd

Attendees listen intently to the Opening Ceremony speakers.

Posted in Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference General Information, Uncategorized

Welcome to IACP 2017

IACP President Donald W. De Lucca, Doral, Florida, Police Department

I am excited to be here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, gearing up for IACP 2017!

We have a number of great things planned this year including more than 200 education sessions and 600 exhibitors. Here are just a few highlights:

Kick off IACP 2017 with the Opening Ceremony on Saturday. This year, sought after leadership speaker Simon Sinek will dive deep into the nuances of leadership in the policing world. You will leave feeling motivated and inspired and ready to get the most out of the rest of your conference experience.

Help us celebrate the opening of the Expo Hall at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Sunday morning. The Expo Hall is open from Sunday through Tuesday, with dedicated hours each day. Be sure to come by The Hub in the center of the Expo Hall. There, you will find many exciting events and activities. You can also experience quick education and take part in one-on-one professional development opportunities.

Listen to some great speakers at the General Assembly on Monday. Commissioner Cressida Dick of the Metropolitan Police, London, United Kingdom will be among those sharing insights at this session. Monday is also Uniform Day, a great opportunity to see the global reach of our association through the unique and diverse uniforms we wear.

The Critical Issues Forum is another must-attend session. The panel will examine how the last three years have altered the public’s perception of policing, how this has impacted the actions of officers and their agencies, and the consequences for the safety of police officers and the communities they serve.

Other not to miss education sessions the Global Perspective Series. This year we have four sessions planned, one each day of the conference. This year’s topics include the Pulse Night Club shooting, modern media interactions, and recruitment and retention best practices. We will also hold a listening session, a great opportunity for attendees to share their thoughts with IACP leadership.

If it’s your first time at the IACP annual conference be sure to attend the First-Timers’ Orientation Saturday morning for tips and tricks to help you navigate the event. You can also connect with other first-time attendees at a meet up in The Hub on Sunday.

For more information and to stay up to date, be sure to follow @TheIACP on Twitter and download the conference mobile app.


Posted in Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference General Information, Uncategorized | Tagged