PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Several dozen representatives from police departments across the country met in Philadelphia today for a closed conference on the impact of social media on police tactics.
Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey was host for the event, sponsored by a Washington, DC-based police research group and paid for by the US Justice Department’s community policing office.
“This is just a way of us sharing information, getting ideas as it relates to some of the issues and challenges that have arisen as a result of social media, as well as policies and training that we need to have in place in our respective departments,” Ramsey (back to camera in photo) told the group of about 50 attendees.
Ramsey says social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter were critical communications outlets for those planning trouble like the recent “flash mob” incidents that erupted in the city, and for getting information out about the “Occupy Philadelphia” movement.
Ramsey said he and his colleagues from cities such as Chicago, Washington, and Milwaukee also recognize the intelligence value of such media and are wrestling with issues of privacy balanced by public safety.
Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060