NLECTC Minutes – Social Media 101
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NLECTC Minutes – Social Media 101

Narrator: Social media has a profound effect
on the culture, and on the law enforcement and corrections communities. Public service
officers need to understand its usefulness and ramifications, both on and off the job.
Jennifer Beskid of the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions offers a
course that highlights the Do’s and Don’ts of social media. Beskid: I started out with Facebook. I made
some calls out in the field to ask who was doing anything with social media. I was looking
at National Security Administration, NSA, and some of the other bigger agencies since
we have a connection to the federal level being so close, and called all around, and
said ‘do you have any social media policies?’ and everybody said, ‘well, we’re developing
them, but we don’t really have them,’ and as I was doing that, I was also starting to
get into Facebook, starting to look at Twitter and some of the other sites, to get a sense
of just what could happen. What I decided to create was Social Media 101. It was actually
geared toward the crowd that did not grow up with computers in the classroom starting
at kindergarten, and it turned into about a six-hour course, and I have offered it at
entrance-level police academies. I have offered it to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking.
I have done it for in-service. I’ve done portions of it for basic investigator schools. It’s
pretty easy to modify, depending on the audience that is asking for the information. Narrator: When developing a social media policy,
Beskid suggests that agencies embrace the technology, set policies that are reasonable,
educate officers about professional online behavior, educate officers about why behavior
matters. She reminds agencies that anything they post can be viewed by the public. Beskid: Overall it’s one course that looks
at how your information can be found through search engines, and it talks about search
engines that search for people, that search for information about people, search for phone
numbers, search for photos. And it builds on that as far as once people get your information,
how that can be posted on the Internet, with or without your knowledge. Narrator: For more information about the Maryland
Police and Correctional Training Commissions’ Social Media 101, contact Jennifer Beskid
at 410-875-3525 or email her at [email protected] Contact the National Law Enforcement and Corrections
Technology Center at

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