In just two years, the Dover Police Department has gone from no online presence to an international leader in online communications with the public and the media. That was proven on Wednesday, October 7th, when Master Corporal Mark Hoffman was awarded the Connected Cops Social Media Leadership Award at the Social Media the Internet and Law Enforcement Conference, otherwise known as the SMILE Conference. The conference is being held in Niagara Falls, Ontario and is the 3rd conference attended by the Dover Police Department. The criterion for the award is as follows:
“This award is given to the individual officer up to and including the rank of Sergeant (or its international equivalent) at any worldwide law enforcement agency who has singularly demonstrated exemplary and selfless leadership in the use of social media to improve public safety and/or enhance his or her agency’s community engagement and reputation. This individual is creative, innovative and fearless and shares what s/he knows by mentoring others, participating in public speaking opportunities and leading by example.”
The Dover Police Department was nominated along with several agencies from across the globe that have demonstrated an excellent ability to connect with the public they serve. In addition to the Leadership Award, the Dover Police Department was also a finalist in the Excellence in Social Media by Small Agency (150 or fewer officers), which was awarded to Shakopee Police Department. Ironically, the award came two years from the exact date the Dover Police Department began their use of social media with the launch of Facebook and Twitter. Since then, the department has added a mobile app, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, and an improved website to their online resources. The Dover Police Department has had tremendous success in the solving and prevention of crime, interaction with the community, and became a household name with the viral “Shake it Off” video in January of 2015. As a result of their success, the Dover Police Department has a direct line of communication to the public and has been able to release accurate information in a timely manner during numerous emergency situations and major incidents. Despite all of the success and worldwide recognition, the goal of the Public Relations Office remains the same; working to improve communication and relationships within the Dover community. The Dover Police Department would like to recognize and thank those who follow the department on their various social media platforms, as the success of these programs are ultimately up to the users. Without the cooperation of the citizens of the City of Dover, this would not be possible.