Police chiefs from across the state meet in Biloxi to learn - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Police chiefs from across the state meet in Biloxi to learn

Police chiefs from across our state are in South Mississippi this week to share ideas, discuss issues and learn.  (Photo source: WLOX) Police chiefs from across our state are in South Mississippi this week to share ideas, discuss issues and learn. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Police chiefs from across our state are in South Mississippi this week to share ideas, discuss issues and learn. Wednesday morning, the chiefs addressed the impact of social media and dealing with the media during crisis situations as well as each day of the year.

"We have a healthy relationship along the Coast. We've always had that relationship with media, and reality is we need each other," D'Iberville Police Chief Wayne Payne said.

The goal is to understand the role of police and the media and how they work together to protect and serve their communities.

"In the police world, it's become accustomed to understand that the media really are our friends," Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said.

"If you do it the right way and if you keep your citizens informed, and of course, one of the obvious ways to do that is working closely with the media and having a good working relationship, it can be a positive thing," Police Chief Association Executive Director Ken Winter said.

One positive thing both police and journalists agree on is the use of social media.

Miller said it can be a powerful tool for creating dialogue and understanding between law enforcement, the media and the public when it comes to getting information and solving crimes.

"We do learn a lot off of social media. Social media has not quite reached the point of a person-to-person contact with the regular media person yet, but I think you're going to see that over the next few years," Miller said.

FBI Special Agent in Charge from Jackson, Donald Alway, said it all goes back to not only knowing the role you play, but the role of others as well.

"We're really about building partnerships. We're all members of the community. We have families here, so we want to be as effective as possible in helping make our community safer, and that really relies on us having partnerships with law enforcements as well as the media," Alway said.

On Friday, the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police Summer Conference will focus on hate crime prevention.

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