No Twitter in Georgia

Oktwitter-793050 (1).  I have to admit the title is misleading.  I am not talking about the State of Georgia.  Instead, I am talking about the Republic of Georgia, formerly part of Russia.  Georgia is the birthplace of Stalin and location of his museum.  Georgia is the country that fired its entire police department to get a fresh start.  I recently traveled to Georgia with my good friend Tim Burrows to conduct media relations and social media for law enforcement training. 

The Republic of Georgia has come a long way since the days of Stalin and since they began rebuilding their police department from scratch.  With the aid of the United States, the police department is now a modern, professional police department operating in a transparent manner serving and protecting their community.  They have begun using social media and currently have approximately 15 different Facebook pages across many of their departments.  However, their use of social media ends there.

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Periscope as a Crime Fighting Tool

PeriscopeI ran across an interesting article about the Bengarulu Police Department in India deciding to use Periscope.  That part of the story was not noteworthy.  In fact, many departments are using Periscope to broadcast press conferences and various community events.  The Dallas Police Department recently used Periscope to broadcast their press conference about the gunman who attacked their department.  Check out this video about the Boca Raton Police Department using Periscope.  In an interesting turn of events, the Police Commissioner of Bengarulu, M.N. Reddi, would like citizens to use Periscope to live-stream crimes in progress via Periscope.  Is this practical or should it even be considered?

Commissioner Reddi is a #LESM influencer in his country and has over 290,000 followers on Twitter @CPBlr, so when he speaks, people listen.  But, does what he says have any practical value?  Law enforcement has always asked our citizens to be good witnesses without putting themselves at risk.  The question is would using Periscope to live-stream crimes in progress put citizens at risk? 

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Georgian Police Engage the Media and Use Social Media

Tim Burrows and I recently traveled to Georgia, not the state but the country, for the Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) program to provide media relations and social media training for the Georgian Police.  We conducted some preliminary research and arrived prepared to share our experiences and offer our insight into ways to improve their relationship with the media and how to use social media more effectively.

This was my second trip to Georgia and we arrived a little tired from the long trip but excited about the opportunity.  Our hotel was in the capital of Tbilisi located about 30 minutes from the Georgia Police Academy, where we conducted our training.

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