LAPD Blog Forthcoming

lapd-thumb.gifSince Lieutenant Ruben De La Torre let the cat out of the bag in the comments on this post I thought I’d give you all the update to my open letter request back in February. Since then I’ve been speaking with several of the officers at the LAPD online unit and I’m excited to say that a blog is in the works. The really good news is that they get it, and understand how valuable this could be for them and for the whole community.

I can’t promise any level of influence on this, but out of curiosity, what kinds of things would you like to see on an LAPD blog?

10 thoughts on “LAPD Blog Forthcoming”

  1. Actually, I think their communications office will know the best answer to that question. I would like to just see regular updates on whatever they’ve got, and no repurposed press releases! Get someone with a conversational tone and have them update often…

  2. I would love to see a list or a link to a list of direct line phone numbers for all the various non-911 things we’d like to talk to the police about. You know – barking dogs, neighbors doing construction outside of the allowed hours, how to ask for extra patrols, how to get rid of the bums living in their crap RVs over by the Ralphs….

    Otherwise I complely agree with Ted: Keep it updated, be conversational, and honestly tell us what’s going on.

  3. Tranparency, tranparency, transparency.

    Content wise, I’d love to keep updated on how the “broken windows” approach actually works, perhaps contrasting an area where this is in effect another where it isn’t.

    I just hope this isn’t going to be manhandled by the communications office.

  4. A good thread – and a remarkable opportunity.

    While our friends at LAPD may not be able to instantly achieve the many desirable features that people might suggest, the input offered by leading bloggers will prove invaluable (and essential) to local government’s on-line road map.

    While Corporate America can hire consultants and assemble focus groups, local governments don’t have such resources. They have something far better.

    The single greatest challenge is getting local stakeholders (please take a look in the mirror) to get in touch and remain supportive in guiding such efforts. That doesn’t mean blind faith or pablum, but rather prioritized real-world and readily achievable solutions to what some call the informational black hole of local government.

    Sooo, before you go to the next thread, please take a moment to think of something achievable and useful – and help make it happen!!

    Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

    Brian Humphrey
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    PS: Lest someone think otherwise, the LAFD is among those agencies desperately in need of tech guidance. Anybody interested?

  5. I’d love to see timely information posted about crimes in my neighborhood/district. Something akin to an RSS feed of a news blotter. I think the dots on the map are a great tool, but I’m curious to know more about the crimes in my neighborhood than just “Aggravated Assault,” etc.

  6. I agree that the best result will be achieved if we and LAPD can view this a casual, friendly, conversational blog that won’t be a pain in the ass for LAPD to write or maintain.

    We’re sunk if it becomes a big production, filtered through lots of controlling supervisors. Best to have it written by one or two people who just give highlights of the day’s or week’s events, and make announcements or post stuff LAPD would like us to know.

    And I do think that a lot of the people who read could find an hour a week to help out with some basic tech info.

    Our duty as citizens!

  7. counterpoint: am I the only one who doesn’t immediately like the idea of an LAPD blog?

    First, there’s the idea of our tax money going for police officials to spend work time publishing their personal thoughts. Aren’t they understaffed as is?

    And then there’s the more basic issue of how a blog seriously blurs the line between personal vs. official thoughts. Especially when it comes to the police (as opposed to LAFD), any misconstruing of what is written could get both sides in serious hot water. i.e., a police officer blogs that “we allow 3 cars to go through a red light before ticketing”. The next day, you get popped for running a red light and your the first car…. Would you be able to use this blog posting in your defense? Or say you respond to a post disagreeing with something, and then get pulled over for speeding the next day. Was it related to your comment? Things would get messy fast. They would need a disclaimer the size of texas, and people would still challenge it.

    Obviously, some of this would depend on how its implemented (like whether you had random officers/detectives blogging, or whether this goes through their public affairs office). But I think its a bit naive to just universally say “LAPD blog = great!”. Their status as enforcers of the law makes me seriously question the appropriateness of a blog….

  8. Sam (fake address, fake name?) I think you’re being a bit paranoid. We’re not talking about a blog where LAPD officers would be paid to talk about what they had for lunch, we’re talking about people who are already in the department of putting info online, putting it there in another format that would be more useful to people. Right now if 50 people e-mail in about an incent, they have to send 50 e-mails about it. When they have a blog they will be able to write about the incident and all those people will be able to read the details there, or subscribe to the RSS feed to find out about things as they happen. There’s no more liablity then when they send e-mails or sent press releases.

  9. Not that long ago I had some mail (READ: WONDERFUL BOXES FROM AMAZON.COM CONTAINING XMAS PRESENTS) stolen in broad daylight off my front porch.

    After reporting it to the USPS (pointless!) I called the LAPD. They couldn’t help me very much but after being routed here and there and here and there, I finally got a phone number I could call to ‘request more police presence.’ It took me nearly 1 straight hour to talk to a policemen in my neighborhood! This is the kind of info I wish was more readily available on the LAPD website but could be easier to find via a blog?

    Yeah, I don’t really need to know what my local cops are ‘thinking’. I’d like to know where the crime is and perhaps, what kind of medieval shield I could use.

  10. Mr. Bonner

    Thank you for the post you dedicated about the proposed LAPD Blog. The comments resulting from the article have been insightful and informative. I welcome any and all thoughts. Please keep them coming.

    Lieutenant Ruben De La Torre
    Los Angeles Police Department

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