CSI” Effect, Media Challenges and Public Opinion
The “CSI Effect” is a term used to describe what the public often thinks of law enforcement. It can be good or not so good or even bad. Public perception can have disastrous outcomes, juries can believe law enforcement was incompetent based on TV CSI shows and can make decisions based on erroneous information.
Formulate a positive media strategy for your agency (to be included in your project) and use it here to discuss the following as examples:
1. What is your policy on officers moonlighting? Is there research to suggest guidelines if allowed? Does your agency prohibit it or only certain types of “off duty” work? For example, can officers be a bouncer at a club when off duty? Can they be security at their apartment? Can they receive discounted rent or other perks? Does the department have to approve the off duty work? If so, what are the guidelines?
2. Can the media be helpful to law enforcement? If so how?
3. What is your media strategy for incidents such as officer involved shootings? or a similar type of incident your agency may deal with?
4. Do you have a policy on using social media? If so, what is it? does your agency have a Facebook page, twitter account or other social media? What are the pros and cons? Can it be useful?