Photo via andyp uk (Flickr.com)
More often than not, police departments post "just the facts, ma'am" news releases on their websites about the latest criminals that have been apprehended.
But a few forward-looking departments are using the social media tool of blogging to strengthen the bond with their community.
PD blogs such as the LAPD's blog follow the newspaper police blotter format — they even use datelines — and sprinkle in a few news releases about community outreach initiatives.
Others such as the blogs from the Lakeland (Fla.) PD or Amherst (Mass.) PD comment on issues in the community or department. The Amherst PD blog even shows pictures of officers at off-duty charitable functions.
A good blog is informative, offers insight about its topic (the community you spend your days patrolling) and allows readers to interact with it via comments. Posts with pictures, such as the ones on Broward Sheriff's Office blog, can also help.
Let us know if your department has started a blog, and whether it's been a help or hindrance to the department, by submitting a comment below.