How to Use Social Media to Save Lives


So recently stumbled upon a neighboring police department’s Facebook page and it would be a disservice to my peers not to share this incredible crossroads of public safety and social media with you all.

I present to you the Orleans Massachusetts Police Department Facebook page.

We all know how humor and wit will drive engagement and visibility in social media – if it’s well received of course.

Orleans PD has managed to find and exploit their constituents’ funny bone. Seriously, it’s quite entertaining and impressive, make sure you take a look yourself.

Now to my larger point though, which is the compounding value this mastery adds when employed by a public safety entity. In a world where texts are more likely returned than calls, and home phone books are on their way to the museums, it is important to be where your constituents are, which on Cape Cod is Facebook.

Just take a look at the amount of shares and likes on the post above, that’s astronomical considering there are only 1937 people in Orleans as of 2016, and compare that engagement to the Dennis Police Department a few towns away with a population of 2551.

Why this is so powerful is that with the way Facebook algorithms work,when you have engaged with a page’s post, the page will gain priority on your news feed going forward. And with the Police Department getting that priority, this means that public safety announcements will reach more of their intended audience.

Just to reiterate, Orleans PD crushing it on social media means they are setting themselves up to more effectively and broadly protect and alert their constituents. This literally could be lifesaving!

The big takeaway here is this: we all have countless tools available to achieve our goals, and in the case of public safety, a MASSIVE goal is getting the word out, and I applaud Orleans PD for putting in the effort to identify and maximize social media to that effect. 👏

Here’s some more commentary for your enjoyment:

Eric Simpson is a Cape Cod washashore who loves bodybuilding, coffee, and exploring the collision of technology and humanity. Shoot him a note if you’ve realized that your company’s lackluster social media presence is a concern.

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