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Posts Tagged ‘NYPD’

To Protect and Serve…Yourself? NYPD Allegedly Steals from Suspect

rainy nypd

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was THIS close to becoming a police officer.

Back when radio and news weren’t paying too well, I spent six years working as a police dispatcher in North Texas. Even taught a little self-defense. However, PR was calling me and I answered. Nonetheless, I love those boys and girls in blue.

No one really knows what those civil heroes deal with on a daily basis. In most cases, the folk who cause drama for the police simply suck. That said, when I see different videos like the one after the jump — which allegedly shows an NYPD officer stealing $1,300 from a suspect – I want to forget all of that.

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UPDATE: NYPD Tries, Fails at Twitter Outreach

Looks like someone didn’t learn much from the #AskJPM fiasco.

As communications professionals we understand that groups providing services to the public generally benefit from highlighting their relationships with that public.

At the same time, unpopular campaigns seem to garner even more attention on social, don’t they?

In case you haven’t seen the aftermath of this terrible decision, we’ve got some pictures after the jump.

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NYPD Tells Cops: Don’t Post Racist Tweets, Please

Here’s a painfully simple lesson to stop an HR problem from becoming a big PR problem: discourage your employees from using their personal Twitter accounts to share their horribly racist opinions with the rest of the world.

To readers who don’t live in New York and may have missed the story, two Fire Department employees (one of whom happens to be the commissioner’s son) got some justifiably bad press for posting racist statements on their feeds. The first guy’s tweets included some slurs we’ve never even heard of as well as this infamous statement:

“I like jews about as much as hitler. #toofar? NOPE.”

Clever! The commish’s son later “chose to retire” from the force while the second offender got suspended without pay after being “outed” by the New York Post. Of course the NYPD would rather avoid the NYFD’s self-inflicted PR headache, so this week the organization released its first set of strict social media guidelines.

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Humanitarian Cop Hits The Today Show

The New York City police officer behind this heartwarming viral photo/PR win appeared on NBC‘s Today this morning to flesh out his story.

Jennifer Foster, the tourist who snapped the pic, joined him, describing his now-famous decision to buy shoes and socks for a freezing homeless man as “an act of human kindness…he had no intention of receiving any credit for it”. Officer Lawrence DePrimo downplayed his instant celebrity, calling it “surreal and humbling” and saying that he simply did “what any other officer in this city would do”. One has to admire his modesty.

NYPD’s Heartwarming Photo Goes Viral

NYPD Facebook PhotoWe recently reported on the NYPD‘s social media unit and the department’s new-found skill in using Facebook and Twitter to track down criminals. Turns out New York City cops and their spokespeople also know how to use social media to generate some positive PR.

Here’s the story: On November 14, a tourist wandering through Times Square happened upon an officer tending to a barefoot homeless man. According to Officer Lawrence DePrimo, “It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet”–so he decided to stop in a nearby store and buy the guy a new pair of boots. The tourist snapped this photo of DePrimo presenting the boots, shared it, and presto–it went viral, quickly accumulating 350,000 likes, 90,000 shares and 22,000 comments on the department’s Facebook page.

As the photo made its way around the Internet thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and others, thousands voiced support for the NYPD–even those who “have a grudge against law enforcement everywhere”. In a follow-up interview with The New York Times, DePrimo said he keeps the receipt in his pocket “to remind me that sometimes people have it worse”. Some commenters wondered whether the picture had been staged, but it still looks like a big PR win to us.

We understand why the NYPD would be very cautious when it comes to social media, but they’re clearly learning: A quick glance at the department’s photo stream reveals pics of the Macy’s parade as well as visits to senior centers and schools for autistic children alongside the usual gun seizures and awards ceremonies.

What do we think? Was this pic a fluke, or is the NYPD learning how to use social media to improve its image with the public?

The NYPD Has a Cannibalism Problem

In a story too sensational to ignore, a member of New York’s Finest has been arrested and charged with making “Law & Order”-worthy plans to kidnap, kill, cook and eat as many as 100 women.

Let that one sink in for a minute—and note that the phrase “bath salts” does not appear anywhere in this story.

The accused, who used his status as a police officer to compile photos and addresses of potential victims, wrote a series of incredibly disturbing emails to an undercover operator. A couple of his more outrageous comments:

  • “[My oven] is big enough to fit one of these girls if I folded their legs”
  • “I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus&cook her over a low heat, keep her alive as long as possible.”

Yikes. He even offered to kidnap a woman on behalf of an undercover agent, writing: “$5,000 and she’s all yours… she will be stuffed into a large piece of luggage and wheeled out to my van.”

Since the (obvious) nut job in question never actually put his diabolical plans into action, everyone should feel free to make as many lame jokes as possible.

We respect police officers for keeping the peace and all, but we have to wonder why this weirdo didn’t set off any warning bells some time ago. The story also gives the public another reason to question the department’s notoriously lax recruiting standards. It’s a tough job, but some murderous wannabe cannibal’s gotta do it.

How does one even perform damage control after a story like this? Chief Ray Kelly had better get ready to plan a whole lot of press conferences.

The NYPD Has Social Media Rules Too!

Note to New York City criminals: The next obviously fake “individual” who wants to friend you on Facebook may well be a cop in disguise!

Every agency has an official social media rules document, right? Well, these “how not to be a jackass online” guides aren’t limited to PR organizations: New York’s finest now have one too.

Last year we got news that Ray Kelly’s boys in blue had created a social media unit to scan the various networks for signs of criminals dumb enough to brag about their crimes online. Now the NYPD has, for the first time, laid out a set of rules for officers to follow when using social media as an investigative tool. Let’s get to the juiciest bits:

  • Officers can create as many fake Facebook/Twitter profiles as they deem necessary—as long as they register them with the department. This goes directly against the company’s terms of service, so we’d love to get Zuckerberg’s thoughts on the issue. Read more