With issues of privacy and security making it difficult for authorities to comfortably use social media sites to track down people of interest and communicate with other police forces, one official has decided to launch his very own social network which Reuters has dubbed “Facebook for cops.”
This network, known as BlueLine, is the creation of police commissioner Bill Bratton whose aim is to provide police forces with a secure network by which they may share information that will make it easier to track and fight crime.
The social network will be launched globally in October at the International Association of Police Chiefs annual conference in Philadelphia. For now, though, members of the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, and the University of Southern California police force will be beta-testing the program before it fully makes its way into the police mainstream.
BlueLine, like Facebook, will have “like” and “share” options and will give law enforcement figures the opportunity to join groups categorized by topic/crime where police forces can seek advice and help for incidents related to the respective group categories.
The Daily Beast is already predicting that this Facebook will at some point be hacked and result in a "15 Craziest Things on Cop Facebook" list. Though that is an entertaining prospect, having sensitive or personal information on crimes released would probably not be as amusing.
However, for those who are doubting the success of this program or believe commissioner Bratton may be a little too ambitious, this program is the idea of a man who has headed the police departments in Los Angeles, New York City, and Boston and has been recently hired as a news analyst for NBC.
What is even more amazing about Bratton is that this is not the first tool he has come up with to keep the police departments technologically up to par. In 1994, he introduced a tool called CompStat which identified criminal patterns and made it easy to deploy resources and police forces. Due to the program’s reported success at decreasing crimes and making New York City safer, the CompStat software made its way to police departments across the nation.
Police Commissioner Bratton has shown his dedication to his work through these technological developments and BlueLine will hopefully become another program that will be considered an innovative success.