Former Police Chief Launches Social Network For Cops

Bill Bratton, a former police commissioner for three of America’s largest police forces, has launched a social media network for cops.

Named BlueLine, the social network is currently being tested by 100 officers in the Los Angeles Police and Sheriff’s departments, and the University of Southern California’s police force. Dozens more police departments will join the beta test this summer, and BlueLine will launch globally at the International Association of Police Chiefs annual conference in Philadelphia in October.

Unlike other law enforcement information-sharing network, which focus on sharing intelligence for specific cases, BlueLine will focus on collaborating on issues such as gangs and drugs. Bratton also said BlueLine is the first secure network for cops, and a safer alternative for younger generations of police officers.

“If you’re a SWAT officer, [BlueLine] 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.

If a gangs investigator comes across an unfamiliar tattoo, he or she can post it to a Gangs network where someone from another department may be able to help identify the tattoo as a sign of a new gang. Users will be able to create databases, such as gang tattoos or graffiti, and analyze them.

The “Facebook for police officers” will combine the most popular functions of the aforementioned social media network, such as “likes” and “shares.” BlueLine will also feature secure videoconferencing capabilities and an iTunes-like app store open to third-party developers, according to CNBC.

Bill Bratton, a native of the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, started his police career with the BPD in 1970 after returning from the Vietnam War. He served as the city’s 34th police commissioner from June 30, 1993 to January 10, 1994, and became the 38th police commissioner for New York City that same year. He resigned from his position in 1996 and worked as a private consultant for the LAPD‘s Independent Monitor until Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn appointed him the department’s 54th Chief of Police in October 2002. He served in the position until 2009.

Bratton said that BlueLine “is not intended to replace strategic police communications capabilities,” but is “primarily for people to find each other.”

What do you think of a social network for police officers?