Date of Award

6-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Department

Criminal Justice

First Reader/Committee Chair

Bichler, Gisela

Abstract

More law enforcement agencies are adopting social media as a progressive policing strategy each year. They utilize it for several reasons including, community outreach and engagement, public relations, notifying the public of safety concerns, recruitment, intelligence gathering for investigations, among other uses (IACP, 2017). This study explores Southern California Law Enforcements’ use of social media through a survey and content analysis. First, the survey results suggest that more than 93% of departments surveyed concentrate on community outreach through their social media channels. Second, the content analysis results suggest that when media (pictures/video), links, and hashtags (#), are included in posts the more engagement will take place. The more engagement a department receives online the more their voice and message are heard. The results of this study contribute to the sparse literature dedicated to law enforcement and effective use of social media.