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File #: 2021-791   
Type: Council Referral
Body: City Council
On agenda: 4/6/2021
Title: Consider Directing Staff to: 1) Provide an Update on Alameda Police Department (APD) Social Media Protocols and Communication Goals and Resume APD Social Media; 2) Resume Use of Crime Mapping or a Comparable Alternative; and 3) Provide Any Necessary Direction on the Issues. (Councilmember Herrera Spencer)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Examples of Social Media Posts, 2. Correspondence

Title

 

Consider Directing Staff to: 1) Provide an Update on Alameda Police Department (APD) Social Media Protocols and Communication Goals and Resume APD Social Media; 2) Resume Use of Crime Mapping or a Comparable Alternative; and 3) Provide Any Necessary Direction on the Issues.  (Councilmember Herrera Spencer)

 

Body

 

COUNCIL REFERRAL FORM

 

The Council can take any of the following actions:

1) Take no action.

2) Refer the matter to staff to schedule as a future City Council agenda item.

3) Take dispositive action if sufficiently noticed such that the public and Council have been provided sufficient information by the published agenda, and no formal published notice of a public hearing is required.

 

Name of Councilmember requesting referral: Councilmember Herrera Spencer

 

Date of submission to City Clerk (must be submitted before 5:00 p.m. on the Monday two weeks before the Council meeting requested): 3/22/2021

 

Council Meeting date: 4/6/20214

 

Brief description of the subject to be printed on the agenda, sufficient to inform the City Council and public of the nature of the referral:

 

1) At the City Council meeting of March 16, 2021, Councilmember Knox White clarified, [he] "didn't ask for [APD] protocols  to come back here [to Council], but until there are clear social media protocols and communication goals put that on hold [temporarily suspend use of social media] and then share once adopted by staff."  Please see video @ 4:14:37: http://alameda.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=2741 Council intentionally did not request it to come back to Council for approval so that it would be expeditious. Other cities have written social media protocols so there are examples readily available.

 

As of today, it is one week after the Council meeting, APD is still not able to use their social media pages because social media policies have not been developed. In the past, they regularly post multiple types of critical, valuable information to protect the public.  Much of it is time sensitive.  Lacking these resources potentially puts the public in harm's way. A quick review of their pages show multiple examples of crimes recently committed so avoid an area or help locate a missing person or tips to avoid becoming the victim of a crime, which usually relate to crimes recently committed and may occur again.  Furthermore, APD has a significant number of followers on social media, sometimes more than the City, and almost 1,700 more followers overall. Facebook: City: 10,300 followers; APD 9,828. Instagram:  City 4,274 followers; APD 4,890. Twitter: City 3,134 followers; APD 4,678.  More than likely, they include unique followers. Thus, by suspending APD's social media indefinitely, the City is failing to do all it can to help victims and reduce crime.

 

2) Recently, APD stopped using Crime Mapping. Many used it (I don't know if APD has usage data) to know about crime in their area and in Alameda, and try to avoid being a victim. Now, community members are complaining of the City concealing crime, not being transparent and taking away another tool that protects their safety.  The Police website indicates an alternative is forthcoming.  However, any tool needs to provide the same level of functionality and transparency to the public.

 

Thus, I'm asking for an update by staff to ensure that they are following Council's direction to expeditiously create social media protocols and communication goals and resume APD social media, and resume using Crime Mapping or a comparable alternative, and allow Council to give any necessary direction on these issues to meet its goals of protecting the public.

 

Priority Ranking:

 

 ↑ Urgent

2

3

 

1

4

 

Important →

 

____ 1 = Not urgent, not important

____ 2 = Urgent, not important

__X_ 3 = Urgent and important

____ 4 = Not urgent, important

 

Exhibit 1 - Examples of Social Media Posts