Our department has a great track record (dating back well before my time) of developing outstanding crime prevention and community outreach programs. The VIPER project gave us a great opportunity to gather all of these elements (old and new) together and creatively engage people in a number of traditional and non-traditional ways.
Very early on in the VIPER project, we recognized the vast potential of the Web as a tool to communicate and, more importantly, to connect. We developed many programs (http://www.bocaviper.com/) designed to effectively engage people in the online world. Early on, we also jumped onto all of the major social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter).
Recently, we started to challenge the value of some of these methods of communication. During an interview with Forum Publishing reporter Dave Rossman, I mentioned that we are “not interested in technology for technology's sake.” We have eliminated those vehicles that don’t reach our target audiences and will try to avoid merely being fashionable when it comes to new programs in the future.
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