The Reykjavík area police are finalists in an international competition regarding how police use the internet to stay in communication with each other and the community.
The ConnectedCops Awards, held every year, judges those agencies from numerous countries which have “demonstrated a proactive strategic approach to the implementation of open source technology into their communication plans.” In the category of Excellence at a Large Agency, the capital area police are now finalists.
The Reykjavik Metropolitan Police (RMP) began using social media in late 2010. With 22,000 followers on Facebook in a country of 320,000, it’s one of the largest followings, per capital in the world. The social media implementation is a small step towards building digital policing in Iceland, the end product being a fully digital police station with additional presence in Twitter (the Chief is currently using Twitter) and YouTube. The RMP is finding that social media is both a cost-effective way of community policing but is also turning out to be one of the key points into building trust between the police and the public.
Stefán Eiríksson, chief of the capital area police, waxed philosophical to Vísir in explaining how his force interacts with the general public: “The key detail is to just be yourself. Just act natural and come to the door as you are. That’s what the police do every single day that they’re out on the street in contact with people.” Stefán added that he was honored by the nomination, and that more and more agencies around the world are making better use of technology to communicate.
The finalists for the ConnectedCops awards will be announced September 10.