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How one of America’s most powerful policemen learned to love social media after Hurricane Harvey

It hasn’t been a nice few weeks for social media corporations like Fb and Twitter.

However regardless of all of the simple issues related to faux information, it’s value reminding ourselves of the equally simple civic worth of social media.

Take, for instance, the position of social media within the response in Houston to Hurricane Harvey. In keeping with Artwork Acevedo, Houston’s Chief of Police, social media instruments like Twitter, Nextdoor, Periscope and Fb turned a “de facto 9111 system” throughout the disaster — enjoying a “enormous position” in his division’s response to Harvey and definitely saving lives throughout the late August deluge.

Sure, Acevedo acknowledges, the criticism about social media as a device for spreading hate is “effectively positioned”. That mentioned, nonetheless, Houston’s police chief — who boasts of getting over 42,000 Twitter followers — believes that social media platforms have turn into a “enormous a part of crime combating” and is now his division’s best “force-multiplier”.

Certainly, he wish to see new functions that are in a position to “geocode” individuals’s smartphones in order that they will obtain crime scene alerts and set up different crowdsourced methods of stopping and fixing crimes. Above all, Acevedo argues, social media can create the type of familiarity between police and residents which “breeds belief” – the essence of a wholesome civic ecosystem.

Acevedo — who was born and bred in southern California — believes that Texas, and notably Houston, presents innovators a really engaging various to Silicon Valley. With its absence of state earnings tax and its nice meals and cultural sources, Acevedo insists that Houston is “essentially the most underneath appreciated metropolis in the USA.”

Featured Picture: Texas Navy Division/Flickr UNDER A CC BY-ND LICENSE

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