First Stop And Frisk, Now Stop And Tweet? Cops Get Their Own Social Network

Cops are about to get one more tool to help them fight crime: their own social media network.

BlueLine is a secure social network, set to launch in late October, where police officers will be able to exchange information through video, instant messages, databases, and screen sharing.

BlueLine creator Bill Bratton, former New York City police commissioner and Los Angeles police chief, says he hopes the social network will help local, state, and federal law enforcement collaborate--a priority since the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Even as law enforcement has explored using social media to fight crime, its efficacy is questionable. And, because they could be targeted, police have been cautioned about their own personal use of popular social media sites like Facebook.

However, Bratton says BlueLine will be more like LinkedIn than Facebook. It will be hosted on secure servers and will emphasize crime-fighting techniques and data--but not information pertaining to specific cases. Once verified as accredited members of the law enforcement community, members will be able to search for each other by name, interest, and topic.

"We're already seeing a lot of potential with it," Los Angeles Police Capt. Sean Malinowski, who has a group of officers beta testing BlueLine, told the AP. "This is not a traditional 'social media site,' even though you can share files, photos and stuff. It's really specific to the subject matter and expertise that officers want to divulge with each other."

[Image: Flickr user Scott Davidson]

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