Today’s edition of La Presse includes an interesting article by Nicolas Berube that is pertinent to those of us who write in cyberspace. Apparently, the LAPD recently launched a myspace account to help reach its recruiting goal of one thousand new officers in the upcoming year. Unlike other myspace pages (and i really don’t like myspace, don’t expect me to be giving in to that trend anytime soon, facebook was enough of a sell-out for one year), the site does not include favourite music or films or links to YouTube videos – which is good because considering publicity the recent video of an officer beating a suspect that is still pending investigation were available on the site. It does, however, provide the user with information about police work, photographs of the police officers in action and a short video from the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa.
Apparently, the site receives about 5 to 10 emails a day from individuals looking for information about the recruiting process – but this article doesn’t provide the statistics regarding how many emails were received before the launch of the myspace site. Myspace remains the third most popular website accessed in the United States (after Yahoo! and Google), but i honestly cannot see the value of having a myspace account rather than maintaining a clear and coherent website that will also be accessible through search engines.
Individual officers have their myspace accounts and, in fact, the entire department has a blog. The main benefit of myspace, in my mind, is likely that it gives the recruiting agency something to put in their portfolio of attempts to reach a younger public without any cost…of course, how much did they guy who posted their website get paid?
What ever happened to going around to high schools and community colleges? To tables in the metro? To initiatives at government employment banks? One would imagine that it would not be THAT difficult to find people to fill shoes that pay between $52 000 and $70 000 US a year.
You can find a copy of the La Presse article here.
The LAPD’s Myspace website can be found here.
The LAPD’s blog is hosted at http://www.lapdblog.org.