Criminal Justice News

Monday, December 14, 2015

What I Tweet and Why?

I received a reply from a follower that I seemed to only tweet bad news about law enforcement.  Sometimes, it’s just a bad day for cops and bad news abounds.  I use key word alerts to monitor LEO related events, subscribe to important feeds and am on email lists for dozens of justice related government and NGO organizations.  I spend about an hour a day going through the material and deciding what I want in my timeline.  I developed the following criterion for myself:

Misconduct: Once a month, as a young police officer, the watch commander would read the “rap sheet.” It was a monthly listing of misconduct and the penalties attached.  I didn’t make me think “I am not going to do that.”  It did make me think about being a sergeant and what I could do to prevent cops from falling.  I think line supervisors have many opportunities to intervene long before an officer ends up suspended or fired.  Secondly, transparency is the most important tool we, as criminal justice professionals, have in maintaining and improving our ability to police in a free society.  I think reporting misconduct is important.

Officer-Involved-Shootings:  Clearly, the use of deadly force can be the ultimate test of an officer’s ability.  From the pre-shooting tactics to the psychological aftermath, deadly force has the most serious and often longest lasting effects.  I tweet about it in hopes in engenders discussion in roll calls, cruisers and hang-outs. 

Line of Duty Deaths:  These are important as a means of recognizing the ultimate sacrifice and, like tweets about an OIS, meant to inform and foster discussion toward prevention.

Officer Suicides:  Like misconduct, there are nearly always warning signs.  Hopefully, someone reads one and recognizes their partner is in distress and takes action.

Officers Awarded:  I believe strongly in recognized good work and valor.  These are our role models.

BOLO:  When I see a case that might be aided by tweeted (particularly a picture of an UnSub) or when I am asked by an agency, I tweet it.

Major Events:  I only tweet about major events if I happen to be early in getting the information.  If the event happened several hours ago and the major media is talking about it, I usually don’t tweet it.  However, If I am sitting at my desk and an “in progress” pursuit, barricaded suspect, etc., occurs I might.

Crime:  I only tweet about crime if is sensational, odd, interesting, or I think it might add to an officers core experience relative to developing reasonable suspicion. 

Hashtags:  I have developed a list of Hashtags and common abbreviations here: Lexicon of LawEnforcement Social Media Terms

My Stuff:  Yes, I tweet about my books, events, radio program and websites.

I appreciate feedback, you can message me at or email me at

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