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BlueLine launch the social network for police

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Law enforcement agencies around the world are increasingly utilising social media to help them with their work.  Last year for instance, I wrote about the use of crowds in catching criminals.  The SMILE conference in California brings all of the innovative uses of social media in law enforcement together in one place.

A new site aims to replicate that kind of collaboration in the online world.  American police commissioner Bill Bratton is putting the finishing touches to a new social network dedicated for police officers.

The site, currently called BlueLine, is scheduled to go live in October via an official launch at the International Association of Police Chiefs annual conference.

“If you’re a SWAT officer, gives you the ability to find other SWAT officers in departments around the country and engage them, share best practices, talk about innovations,” Bratton told Reuters recently.

The site, developed by Bratton Technologies, will be free to use for members, with operating costs financed by a range of police related merchandising.  It is currently in beta mode, with 100 officers from across Los Angeles putting the site through its paces.

The aim of the site is to enable collaboration on the kind of issues that are often replicated across forces.  Things like the latest technologies or strategies on fighting gangs.

A Facebook style facility will act as the core of the network, although there are plans for video conferencing facilities and possibly even an app store to allow 3rd party developers to work on upgrades to the site.

The site will only be available for accredited law enforcement officers, and the site itself will function via a secured network that will require multiple verifications from users before they can access it.

“This is not intended to replace strategic police communications capabilities,” said Bratton. “It is primarily for people to find each other,” he said. “We are quite clear about the guardrails we are staying within.”

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