Pillar Three: Technology and Social Media
The use of technology can improve policing practices and build community trust and legitimacy, but its implementation must be built on a defined policy framework with its purposes and goals clearly delineated. Implementing new technologies can give police departments an opportunity to fully engage and educate communities in a dialogue about their expectations for transparency, accountability, and privacy. But technology changes quickly in terms of new hardware, software, and other options. Law enforcement agencies and leaders need to be able to identify, assess, and evaluate new technology for adoption and do so in ways that improve their effectiveness, efficiency, and evolution without infringing on individual rights
Another technology relatively new to law enforcement is social media. Social media is a communication tool the police can use to engage the community on issues of importance to both and to gauge community sentiment regarding agency policies and practices. Social media can also help police identify the potential nature and location of gang and other criminal or disorderly activity such as spontaneous crowd gatherings.
ETPD Action on Pillar Three
- Body Worn Camera Program
- Controlled Electronic Device Program (CED)
- Technology Based Community Engagement
In the area of social media and community outreach, our agency continues to be at the forefront the use of new and social media, which has resulted in a stronger between the police department and the community. ETPD accomplishes this mission of effectively communicating with the members of our community by a state of the art Website and by Social media outreaches through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Nextdoor. Our police department’s Facebook Page has over 34,000 followers and our continually receives requests from other law
enforcement agencies on the how to implement the same successes in their respective agencies.
In 2016, under Chief Chew’s direction ETPD made the decision to create the first online/kiosk program in the state of NJ. The kiosk/program was created in order to make it easier for citizens to obtain the services they need; the Evesham Township Police Department is continuing to promote its custom touch-screen kiosk installed inside the police lobby. The kiosk is available to citizens 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Another important aspect of adding the kiosk to our community was to free up time for those who work in the clerical department, enabling them to help others with service requests or other needs. Kiosk services include: Requesting a police record (OPRA), Request a vacation check of their home, providing a tip on a crime, completing an online police report, paying a traffic citation, obtaining various common police forms, Browsing department social media and pictures