In today’s connected world, social media is a critical component to a successful law enforcement strategy. From developing sophisticated methods for investigation, crime solving, and prevention to improving communication with citizens and enhancing transparency, agencies that effectively use social media tools are more efficient and more effective.

The Social Media Certification Program from LAwS Academy gives you the tools you need to leverage the vast capabilities of social media resources in support of all your investigative, transparency, and communications goals.  The program begins with introductory and intermediate examinations of social media tools, theories, and capabilities and transitions to one of six certification tracks that will help you pinpoint your focus and maximize your social media effectiveness:

Step 1: Prerequisite Courses

Each certification experience will begin with an introduction to the world of social media. Based on your selected track, you’ll complete one or both of the following courses and, in doing so, develop the foundational skills necessary to specialize in one particular area of the social media landscape:

Social Media Fundamentals Logo

Social Media Fundamentals. This 16-hour course includes complete training in the use of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google HangOuts, LinkedIn, and a few third party tools. The course is intended to take officers with no experience to a point where they’re comfortable. This course is required to complete all six tracks.

Intermediate Social Media Methods LogoIntermediate Social Media Methods. This 16-hour course dives deeper into strategy creation. We’ll examine social media management, analytics, measurement plans, identifying success and look at third party tools in greater detail. The course is required to complete the Communications, Internet Safety and Event Management Tracks.

Step 2: Certification Tracks

Once you finish your prerequisite course or courses, you’ll transition to your selected area of concentration. You have six topic areas to choose from to achieve Level One certification. In the future, we will offer additional levels of certification for Investigations and Communications.

Investigations Track LogoInvestigations. This track focuses on developing and executing investigative techniques in the social media space. Through individual courses, the track examines how to use free tools to conduct social media investigations and analyzes major crimes involving social media, including gangs, fraud, retail investigations, and crimes against children. 

Event Management Track Logo

Event Management. Preparing for and effectively managing events requires agility and skill. This track will prepare you for police emergencies and social and mental health crisis. The track includes courses on event management, operational planning, real-time crisis, large event management, and police events.

Social Media Governance Track LogoLeadership and Governance. This track is designed to prepare organizational leaders to be able to handle the main issues that come with managing a connected agency, including policy, strategy, technical, and legal requirements. The track includes individual courses in strategy and policy development, data retention, and legal issues.

Social Media Communication LogoCommunications. This track is for the practitioner, the officer or civilian who is charged with implementing social media for his or her police agency. The track includes individual courses on video production, writing for social media, social media management, and campaign strategy.

Internet Safety TrackInternet Safety. This track emphasizes online safety and anti-cyber bullying techniques, tactics, and procedures. The track begins with an in-depth examination of cyber bullying, and then transitions to individual courses on officer safety, online safety, and online safety for children. 

Crime Prevention Track LogoCrime Analysis. This track offers instruction on social media techniques that prevent crime and gangs. The track includes individual courses in social media monitoring techniques, campaign strategies, gang prevention, and crime analysis methods in social media.

The program is designed for investigators, analysts, public affairs officers, leaders, and other law enforcement officers who use or will use social media. Have questions about the program? Check out LAwS Academy on the web or email them for additional information. NOTE: The next Certification Program begins on April 15, 2016.