Creative and forward thinking is crucial in this new age of social media and digital communication. Striving to stay ahead of the curve while effectively providing communication to the public in which they serve, the Broward Sheriff’s Office has recently introduced several new tools.
The first tool, “Community Events,” can be found at www.sheriff.org. Providing a detailed schedule of upcoming events the Broward Sheriff’s Office is hosting countywide, it also provides mapping to an actual location. Users with a GPS-enabled smart phone are provided turn-by-turn directions to their destination.
More exciting among the tools recently introduced is a new mobile-optimized version of sheriff.org created for smart phone and tablet users. The BSO Mobile Optimized Website (MOW) provides users with a sensible one-touch approach to connect with their various social media sites, view agency news, search arrests and civil cases, to report a crime or contact the agency, and to view, map and track events.
By researching the most valuable and utilized areas of interest to their website visitors, the Broward Sheriff’s Office decided to develop the MOW. Receiving over 500,000 distinct page views monthly and an impressive U.S. based Alexa ranking of 30,024, the BSO website is one of the most heavily-trafficked law enforcement agencies in the nation.
Among the first in the nation to launch such a progressive MOW, the interactive site can be activated by visiting www.sheriff.org/mobile or by clicking on the new “BSO MOBILE” button located in the top right-hand corner of the BSO website. Users can add a quick link to the site that will appear on their phones or tablets as an app. In less than a minute, you will have access to the most popular of all information available to the public.
It comes as no secret that social media is a rapidly emerging trend. While there are dozens of social media outlets, Facebook is by far the leader. With more than 900 million users worldwide – 156 million in the United States alone – more than half of all Americans have a Facebook account.
To put this into perspective, it took over 90 years for the home telephone to become conventional and only five years for Facebook to become part of the mainstream. Interesting enough, the largest increase in Facebook demographics is users who are 55 and older.
Another popular site for quick and instant communication is Twitter. This interactive form of social media allows users to input a minimal amount of characters for messages, also known as tweets. Commonly used to provide information in “real time,” Twitter allows users to interact and forward “tweets” to their followers as they are posted.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office has developed their own SMS version of Twitter. Called CyberVisor, this advisory e-mail and text system provides residents and business owners with vital information about criminal activity, traffic issues, security concerns, upcoming events, public safety initiatives, important safety tips and more.
“I am a firm believer that the more informed you are, the safer you are,” stated Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti. “That is why we utilize these and other tools such as the E-Newsletter and the CyberVisor program to keep the community involved.”
If you have not signed up for the CyberVisor program or E-Newsletter, please visit the Broward Sheriff’s Office at http://www.sheriff.org/cybervisor. You can also follow them on Facebook at Broward Sheriff’s Office (Official) and Twitter @browardsheriff. As always, residents can e-mail the Sheriff personally at Ask_The_Sheriff@sheriff.org.