This book’s main message is that police agencies can, through social media, manage their image, bolster their legitimacy with the public, and foster closer bonds with the communities they serve. They can do so by supplementing traditional community-oriented policing with what the authors call "electronic community-oriented policing," or E-COP. This provides greater opportunity for two-way police-public interactive communication that benefits both sides. While E-COP can be a tool in crime fighting, the authors focus more on identifying best practices the police can employ to communicate more effectively with the people they protect and serve. The authors predict that E-COP will become one of the main policing strategies worldwide. They base their suggestions for improving police use of social media on their own study, which analyzed Facebook posts published by US police departments. . . this book will be of interest to students, scholars, and practitioners in criminal justice and police studies. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals.
This book provides a timely addition to the scholarship on policing in the context of 21st century 24/7 connectivity, smart phones and devices, and online communities. In particular it looks at the prospects of what the authors call E-COP, Electronic Community Orientated Policing. Hu and Lovrich suggest that policing is moving quickly into a period where community orientated policing is moving online – with variations on the themes of traditional COP. The concept is backed up by the findings of a number of empirical studies, inter-alia thematising and analyzing police use of various kinds of electronic (social) media. The book not only situates itself in this empirical context, but also provides a philosophical basis for the theory. Whether or not E-COP is ever completely and competently realized by police organizations, we’ll need to wait and see. However, the book provides a compelling case that it should be, and a roadmap as to how it can operate. It’s a book you would hope senior police would read.