LAPD Connects with the Community through Live Streaming
Sharing Public Safety Information and Community Outreach on Facebook Live
The Los Angeles Police Department is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the U.S. serving over 4 million residents. Live streaming has become a huge component of the department’s communications strategy for emergency response and community relations initiatives. LiveU Solo has become an integral part of the LAPD’s live streaming toolkit. The unit was purchased by the department through a generous grant by the William H. Parker Los Angeles Police Foundation.
The LAPD had been dabbling in live technology to cover press conferences during emergencies such as brush fires, but found that they couldn’t rely on a cell phone alone to stream the breaking news without losing the feed – especially in rural environments where cell service was scarce.
Sergeant Hector Guzman and his team within the Social Media Unit of the Media Relations Division were tasked with finding an affordable and reliable solution to enable Facebook Live streams from anywhere. The team ran LiveU and two other competitive solutions through their paces. LiveU Solo was selected for its ease of use.
“Customer support was also a key factor in our decision process. From the sales rep who provided a demo unit and guided us through the establishment of the Solo portal to the 24/7 phone support, the level of service and support has been outstanding,” added Guzman. “What we liked most about the LiveU Solo was that we could train someone within a few minutes and then send them off. It was truly plug-and-play.”
The department’s biggest motivation for implementing a portable live streaming solution was the ability to get people out there and cover events beyond the use of a cell phone. During a mass incident, when the city’s unified command is deployed, there is a need to put out messages to the public quickly and bandwidth is a crucial component. “It’s important to get information out to the community and a reliable, high-quality stream makes it possible,” Guzman added. The LAPD has been able to get messages out quicker for public awareness and safety. “Local public safety agencies (police and fire) have relied on our Live U Solo streams when they have been unable to acquire a quality feed via the use of a cell phone only.”
Building relationships with the community it serves is crucial for the LAPD. “The live streams help us create transparency and build trust and relationships with the community,” notes Guzman. The department has live streamed the World Police and Fire Games, community outreach events, press conferences, and media briefings during critical incidents such as an Officer-Involved Shooting.
Integrating Technology into Law Enforcement
The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (Pillar 3) and the IACP Guidelines (the use of digital media by law enforcement) has also helped bring this technology into the forefront for the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies across the U.S.
The LAPD is using Solo to produce live coverage of press conferences, community events, public information, and community events. Most recently, the team used Solo to update the public about the efforts to contain the area wildfires.
With LiveU Solo, LAPD became the broadcaster providing their own coverage for public awareness. How will you Go Solo?