Advertisement

American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 489–501 | Cite as

Effectiveness of Police Social Media Use

  • Michael L. Beshears
Article

Abstract

Specifically, this study was an examination of the role of social media for and by Arkansas sheriff offices with respect to community relations efforts and the solving of crimes. A review of the literature led to an examination of the relationship between predictor variables frequency and quality of social media communication, while using county population density and county social economic status (SES) as control variables. A hierarchical multiple linear regression model was used to evaluate the data that had been collected via a phone and online survey. All statistical requirements to use this regression model were met. Careful adherence to ethical standards was practiced. The relatively small sample resulting from the small population was cited as a concern. However, responses from 52 of the 75 Arkansas county sheriff offices provided sufficient data for the study. The predictor variable, frequency, accounted for a significant degree of variation in both dependent variables. The predictor variable, quality or variety of social media sources, was not significant, so the null hypothesis was not rejected. However, more social media sources increase the significance of the frequency. Overall, Arkansas sheriff offices surveyed supported the use of social media for both community relations and crime solving. The social media platforms identified as being used by one or more sheriff office or individual sheriff to connect with residents in their community included, a Basic Website, Electronic Newsletters, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Keywords

Social media Sheriff offices Law enforcement Community relations Crime solving Network theory 

References

  1. Ashforth, B. E., & Mael, F. (1989). Social identity theory and the organization. Academy of Management Review, 14(1), 20–39. doi: 10.5465/AMR.1989.4278999.Google Scholar
  2. Bertot, J. C., Jaeger, P. T., & Grimes, J. M. (2010). Using ICTs to create a culture of transparency: E-government and social media as openness and anti-corruption tools for societies. Government Information Quarterly, 27(3), 264–271. doi: 10.1016/j.giq.2010.03.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bertot, J. C., Jaeger, P. T., & Hansen, D. (2012). The impact of polices on government social media usage: Issues, challenges, and recommendations. Government Information Quarterly, 29(1), 30–40. doi: 10.1016/j.giq.2011.04.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boase, J., Horrigan, J. B., Wellman, B., & Rainie, L. (2006). The strength of Internet ties. Retrieved from PewInternet & American Life Project website: http://pewinternet.org/Data-Tools/Get-the-Latest-Statistics/Latest-Research.aspx.
  5. Bollen, J., Gonçalves, B., Ruan, G., & Mao, H. (2011). Happiness is assortative in online social networks. Artificial Life, 17(3), 237–251. doi: 10.1162/artl_a_00034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Borgatti, S. P., & Halgin, D. S. (2011). On network theory. Organization Science, 22(5), 1168–1181. doi: 10.1287/orsc.1110.0641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brainard, L. A., & Derrick-Mills, T. (2011). Electronic commons, community policing, and communication. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 33(3), 383–410 Retrieved from http://gulib.georgetown.edu/newjour/a/msg04446.html.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brooks, B., Welser, H. T., Hogan, B., & Titsworth, S. (2011). Socioeconomic status updates: Family SES and emergent social capital in college student Facebook networks. Information, Communication & Society, 14(4), 529–549. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2011.562221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen, W. (2013). Internet use, online communication, and ties in Americans’ networks. Social Science Computer Review, 31(4), 404–423.Google Scholar
  10. Chen, J., Xu, H., & Whinston, A. B. (2011). Moderated online communities and quality of user-generated content. Journal of Management Information Systems, 28(2), 237–268. doi: 10.2753/MIS0742-1222280209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cheng, J., Bertolini, L., Clercq, F. L., & Kapoen, L. (2013). Understanding urban networks: Comparing a node-, a density-and an accessibility-based view. Cities, 31, 165–176. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2012.04.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Copitch, G., & Fox, C. (2010). Using social media as a means of improving public confidence. Safer Communities, 9(2), 42–48. doi: 10.5042/sc.2010.0226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dunn, W. N. (1983). Social network theory. Science Communication, 4(3), 453–461. doi: 10.1177/107554708300400306.Google Scholar
  14. Gainous, J., Marlowe, A., & Wagner, K. (2013). Traditional cleavages or a new world: Does online social networking bridge the political participation divide? International Journal of Politics, Culture, & Society, 26(2), 145–158. doi: 10.1007/s10767-013-9130-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Garton, L., Haythornthwaite, C., & Wellman, B. (1997). Studying online social networks. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 3(1), 0. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.1997.tb00062.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gilliam, M., Allison, S., Boyar, R., Bull, S., Guse, K., & Santelli, J. (2011). New media and research: Considering next steps. Sexuality Research & Social Policy, 8(1), 67–72. doi: 10.1007/s13178-011-0035-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goel, L., & Mousavidin, E. (2008). A proposed framework for designing sustainable communities for knowledge management systems. International Journal of Knowledge Management, 4(3), 82–100. doi: 10.4018/jkm.2008070106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Granovetter, M. S. (1983). The strength of weak ties: A network theory revisted. Sociological Theory, 1, 201–233. doi: 10.2307/202051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hampton, K. N., & Ling, R. (2013). Explaining communication displacement and large-scale social change in core networks. Communication & Society, 16(4), 561–589. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2013.777760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harris, J. K., Mueller, N. L., & Snider, D. (2013). Social media adoption in local health departments nationwide. American Journal of Public Health, 103(9), 1700-1707. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301166.
  21. Hawley, Z. B. (2012). Does urban density promote social interaction? Evidence from instrumental variable estimation. Review of Regional Studies, 42(3), 223–248 Retrieved from http://journal.srsa.org/ojs/index.php/RRS/.Google Scholar
  22. Herzberg, A., & Steinberg, G. M. (2012). IHL 2.0: Is there a role for social media in monitoring and enforcement? Israel Law Review, 45(3), 493–536. doi: 10.1017/S0021223712000180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jones, J. J., Settle, J. E., Bond, R. M., Fariss, C. J., Marlow, C., & Fowler, J. H. (2013). Inferring tie strength from online directed behavior. PloS One, 8(1), e52168. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kavanaugh, A. L., Fox, E. A., Sheetz, S. D., Yang, S., Tzy Li, L., Shoemaker, D. J … & Xie, L. (2012). Social media use by government: From the routine to the critical. Government Information Quarterly, 29(4), 480–491. doi: 10.1016/j.giq.2012.06.002.
  25. Lieberman, J. D., Koetzle, D., & Sakiyama, M. (2013). Police departments’ use of Facebook patterns and policy issues. Police Quarterly, 16(4), 438–462. doi: 10.1177/1098611113495049.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mansumitrchai, S., Park, C., & Chiu, C. L. (2012). Factors underlying the adoption of social network: A study of FaceBook users in South Korea. International Journal of Business and Management, 7(24), 138–153. doi: 10.5539/ijbm.v7n24p138.
  27. McLeod, S. A. (2008). Social identity theory. Retrieved from http://www.simply psychology.org/social-identity-theory.html.
  28. Schneckenberg, D. (2009). Web 2.0 and the shift in corporate governance from control to democracy. Knowledge Management Research and Practice, 7(3), 234–248. doi: 10.1057/kmrp.2009.17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shi, Z., Rui, H., & Whinston, A. B. (2014). Content sharing in a social broadcasting environment: Evidence from tweeter. MIS Quarterly, 38(1) Retrieved from http://www.misq.org/.
  30. The FBI on Social Media (2009). Stories. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2009/may/socialmedia_051509.
  31. Webster, T. (2010). Twitter usage in America: 2010. The Edison research/Arbitren internet and multimedia study. Retrieved from http://www.onecommunity.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Twitter_Usage_In_America_2010.pdf.
  32. Wellman, B. (1997). An electronic group is virtually a social network. In S. Kiesler (Ed.), Culture of the internet (pp. 179–205). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  33. Zip, L., Parker, R., & Wyly, E. (2013). Facebook as a way of life: Louis Wirth in the social network. The Geographical Bulletin, 54(2), 77–98.Google Scholar
  34. Zúñiga, H. G., & Valenzuela, S. (2011). The mediating path to a stronger citizenship: Online and offline networks, weak ties, and civic engagement. Communication Research, 38(3), 397–421. doi: 10.1177/0093650210384984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Southern Criminal Justice Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American Military UniversityCharles TownUSA

Personalised recommendations