42 SHAKERONLINE.COM | SPRING 2017 (Social) Media Savvy A 2015 social media survey by the International Association of Chiefs of Police revealed that 96 percent of all participating law enforcement agencies utilize social media. The most common use: assistance in criminal investigations. SHPD is no exception. Last year alone, more than half of all crime-related SHPD Facebook posts led to tips that helped solve the posted crime. SHPD created its Facebook page in 2014, under the direction of late Police Chief D. Scott Lee. Lee wanted to use social media as a tool to fight crime, educate residents, and more importantly, to put a human face on the force. He appointed Sgt. Marvin Lamielle, who also leads the Adult Investigative Unit, to create and populate the page. Since then, Lamielle has grown the number of followers on the SHPD Facebook page to more than 3,400 and adds an estimated 30 new followers weekly. In the year since Lamielle took over the department’s Twitter account, he’s also increased the department’s followers to 850, from fewer than 400. “Social media is here to stay. Now, Jim Norris, a 30-year Shaker resident and graduate of the Citizens Police Academy, served as a citizen panelist. (All citizen panelists are members of the Shaker Heights Citizens Police Alumni.) Norris recalls one applicant in particular who was pleasant and bright. “But after the interview, I wasn’t sure that he could handle the types of confrontations he might see on the force. He certainly may be able to develop those skills, but he doesn’t have them yet.” Christine Bretz, who participated in five interviews and is the Citizens Police Academy liaison to the City, said the interview process was well-defined with good results. Despite the time the interviews took, “we achieved the goal of getting the candidates we wanted,” says Bretz. “I applaud the fact that SHPD wanted citizen involvement because, after all, we’re the end-consumers of their service.” With a ranked list of passing applicants in hand, Middleton says that last November’s candidate pool submitted for approval by the Civil Service Commission was among the most diverse in recent years, ensuring that the force would be made up of men and women from a range of races and ethnicities, just like the community itself. She concedes the process is rigorous, especially when compared to other communities, but adds that it’s necessary if the police force is going to reflect the values and demographic makeup of Shaker’s residents. “This is the Shaker way,” Middleton explains. “We want top-notch officers.” These pages left to right: Dispatcher Forgach; Sgt. Lamielle, who handles the department’s social media.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above