Police Departments Strive To Improve Public Image Through Social Media

Multiple police departments have begun creating YouTube channels in an attempt to change their image, improve public perception, and boost recruitment efforts.

Police officers clash with Occupy City Hall protesters on June 30, 2020, in New York City, NY. Credit: Getty Images
Police officers clash with Occupy City Hall protesters on June 30, 2020, in New York City, NY. Credit: Getty Images

Over the past year, the increased online presence of the police has manifested on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, where departments upload videos portraying officers deescalating potentially dangerous situations.

The New York Police Department now has 800 similar videos on its channel and two web series, Behind the Badge and Neighborhood Policing, and the LAPD routinely posts highly edited security footage and body camera footage from its on-duty officers.

In the aftermath of the murders of Black people like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police officers, many users are demanding accountability for intentionally pushing counter-narratives and falsified images that contradict real-time police brutality cases.

Given the rise of racial violence in the police system, many Americans are in favor of implementing more measures that impose strict police reform.