Twenty years ago the Internet was an entirely different place. Heck, ten years ago it was radically different. Sure, you could find Chat Rooms, Instant Message and send emails all over the world, but how information was shared was different. News agencies were fairly structured and such interactions as blogging, social media and others were just coming onto the scene. Officer.com has done its level best to not only keep up with the times but to make sure we do what we can to support the community we exist to serve: law enforcement professionals around the world.
How do we do that?
We start out with providing law enforcement specific news culled from various sources and our own investigative reporting team. It is sometimes unbelievable how much news out there applies to or is about law enforcement and we do our best to provide that which is of highest interest.
Adding to the straight news reporting we have our Feature Editorial content provided by a collection of industry experts, the large majority of them either still employed in law enforcement, retired or having once held a position in the law enforcement community. It's our belief that if you're going to write for those in the profession it's best if you've been or still are a part of it.
In the past year we've added a section titled Honoring The Fallen after we teamed up with the good folks at the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Last May we live-streamed the Candlelight Vigil (the first time it'd ever been done) and were proud to see it watched by law enforcement professionals from around the world. We felt that was a piece of law enforcement that had been insufficiently covered and we wanted to provide more dedicated attention.
We also teamed up with the Police Officers Safety Association to provide online training, free of charge, through their downloadable powerpoint presentations, articles and instructional videos. With almost five dozen training tips videos and about a dozen full length video training programs, POSA has done a good job of providing excellent training - again, free of charge - to the law enforcement community.
Another section that we believe is lacking has to do with duties normally performed by Sheriffs' offices. Deputy Sheriffs, bailiffs, etc often don't get news or information specific to their duties and we aim to correct that. Look for a new Editorial section for them to be live soon.
A couple years ago (about 2.5 actually) we added the ability for readers to comment on the various articles and editorials. This presented an excellent opportunity for our readership to give us feedback - positive OR negative - about how we were doing. Unfortunately it also provided an opportunity to the cop haters in the world to spew their filth. Due to the way our system works it was difficult to block them out and we depended on you, our readership, to report such comments. You did so diligently and we did our best to delete them in a timely fashion. Recently this was coming to a head as the cop-haters had begun reporting every positive comment. SO, in answer to our readership's request we've now gone over to a full moderated comment system. As of Friday, December 11th, any comments that are posted on new articles are reviewed before posting. In the future we look forward to switching over to a registered user system.
And speaking of registered users, our forums have been up and running for approximately ten years. With almost two million posts from our more than 83,000 registered members, the forums stay pretty busy. As I type this there are about 2,000 people online reading and posting. We'll soon be adding a couple new sections: one for Women in Law Enforcement and one for Sworn Officers Only. A restricted section has been on the request list for quite some time. It's on the way. And with the population of female law enforcement professionals steadily growing we feel they both deserve and need their own section as well.