Mike Bires

Public Information Officer
Digital Media Tactician
Website Developer

Creating law enforcement's image on the world wide web, social media, and beyond.

Mike Bires is a law enforcement professional with over two decades of work experience on the force, but his passion project is about to make your agency look good.

The law enforcement community, in general, has tip-toed into the social media marketing arena, with most agencies still content to operate on a reactive model. Meanwhile, Mike has been at the forefront of this subject for years. He has not only served as a public information officer for the Azusa Police Department, but he also leads trainings and conferences on the matter, is a published author, has been profiled and interviewed in podcasts and other media, and has been quoted in national publications.

What sets Mike apart from many other law enforcement social media representatives is that he does not just view the work as an ancillary duty of his regular patrol assignment. He devours data on technology and emerging trends and works to employ new techniques and budding platforms as much as possible in his role within the organization, such as being the first of any agency locally to regularly employ the use of closed captioning on their video content, in support of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Besides his on-duty responsibilities, in his off time, Mike has created a successful private company devoted entirely to website redesign for law enforcement agencies and their supporters, and a second company devoted to training public safety entities on the professional and effective use of social media.

Historically, government websites are poorly designed, difficult to navigate and contain formal language that does little to engage the public they serve. Law Enforcement.Social has filled an industry need for more progressive and intuitive website design while making news and information more readily available to the public.

Mike's Background

Mike Bires began his service to the community when he was a police explorer for the Arcadia Police Department in 1986. After his 17th birthday, he enlisted in the United States Army, where he served in Operation Just Cause in the invasion of Panama in December of 1989.

After his service, Mike attended class 113 of the Orange County Sheriff's Academy. It is this time period in Mike's life that sparked his passion for community policing and public relations, as he volunteered to represent the Orange County Sheriff's Department at community events, schools, and as one of the department's explorer advisors.

Mike transferred to the Monrovia Police Department in 1997, where he worked as a patrol officer and was a member of the department's SWAT team. In 2002, Mike took a position at the Azusa Police Department, where he has been for the past 17 years. He has served as a field training officer, bicycle patrol officer, SWAT Team member, university resource officer, and was the lead designer and manager of the department's website and social media program.

 

Police Explorer

US Army Soldier

Law Enforcement Officer

Explorer Advisor

SWAT / Field Training Officer / Bike Patrol

Community Policing Specialist

Public Information Officer

It's Not Just About The Cops...

What has made Mike successful is how he recognizes that a department's social media program and presence is more about the community than just the police department.  Online clickbait differs from the age-old journalistic perspective of “it bleeds, it leads.” Social media users want feel-good information peppered throughout their news feed, and Mike is keen to oblige. He recognizes that law enforcement should be providing information relative to public safety, but seeing department members coming together as members of the community is of strong appeal to viewers. 

Here are just a few examples of Mike's quick thinking when situations presented themselves.

Uncommon Skillsets

Law enforcement officers are not traditionally known for creativity or design skills, and it is often difficult for them to get in front of a crowd of people to speak on a certain topic, or to do a live news release. Mike Bires' creativity and wide range of skillsets allow him to thrive in making a great impression for his agency through his consistent strive towards professionalism. 

News Media Relations

Branding & Marketing

Professional Presenter

Leadership & Supervision

Community Engagement

Digital User Analysis

Program Development

Customer Service

Social Media Campaigner

Website Development

Department Ambassador

Training & Instruction

Subject Matter Expert

Law enforcement social media management is so intricately woven into the very fabric of who Mike is, that he is regularly called upon to share his expertise with others. He shows up for all who ask of him, whether it be in print, in a podcast, or in person. He is a cited columnist and contributor for PoliceOne and regularly writes on topics related to internet safety, online trolls, and successful implementation of social media for law enforcement. He has authored sections in The Ultimate Guide to Social Media: For Business Owners, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs by Jon Mitchell Jackson, and been quoted throughout Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate by Sue Scheff and Melissa Schorr. He was also interviewed and quoted for a national Time Magazine article on the epidemic of online trolling.

Mike is a regular speaker and contributor to online conversations as a subject matter expert in the field of social media marketing for law enforcement. He co-hosted The BOLO Podcast for several years and has also been a special guest on nationally recognized The Police Podcast with Tim Burrows. He presented on panels for the International Chiefs of Police regarding law enforcement social media development and also founded a national law enforcement social media online conference. Mike works to corral experts in the field to engage in dialogue that will allow each agency to achieve its strategic online goals.
Image

The Law Enforcement Social Media Podcast

Mike Bires and his team produced a popular podcast on iTunes, Player FM, and Stitcher Radio about law enforcement's use of social media. Although not currently in production, the podcast is still available today.
Image

Engagement Without Ego

Ever conscious of the changing landscape of news, and how people receive it, Mike is able to operate as the face of the organization during critical incidents. He has long lectured other departments on the necessity of being at the frontline of information distribution, lest the public takes online control and begin driving false narratives. 

Mike is capable of handling social media management, from the simple to the more complex. He may provide updated small tidbits of information as they come available via Nixle and Twitter, though he also has the capabilities to go live on Facebook and Instagram with more in-depth information. Whether via prepared statements, or impromptu press inquiries, Mike responds appropriately and without hesitation.

Image
The stereotypical PIO characteristics often blur the line between articulate department representative and cringe-worthy personal advertising, but Mike operates from a different perspective. His approach is to position himself in a manner that “sells” the law enforcement agency as a legitimate business. Large companies employ the use of specialists in this field, and law enforcement should be no different. Mike desires to see law enforcement agencies taking this role into critical account; someone who capably manages and monitors the department “brand” through consistent narratives, engaging tone, continuity in messaging and clarity of communication.

Saving Lives Through Social Media Is Possible

Mike is highly adept at social media analytics and works diligently to understand the psychology of the typical social media user, such as what drives them to click, and how long they will stay on one site to read or watch videos. He is capable of generating content that pulls in the necessary page views and “likes”, but he is also drawn to create content that encourages our societal need for human connection.

Through Mike’s work, the Azusa Police Department has been able to garner local attention for several issues of particular interest to the direct community. One such community-wide effort was a blood drive for a 12-year-old boy in need of surgery, which attracted much-needed attention and over 50 thousand page views.

Public Service Announcements

Every public safety entity should be providing their community with informative and instructional public service announcements, but how they do so varies greatly. Many employ the use of the “share” function, reusing information created elsewhere, and then throw their agency’s badge on it. Mike is a driving force in creating fresh new content, tailored to the specific needs of the community in which he serves.

24/7 Professionalism

Besides the work he does to fulfill career obligations, Mike is a devoted family member and lives in the community in which he serves. He is intimately aware of the potential scrutiny of his personal life and conducts himself in public in a manner that is of the highest level of honor, ethics, and professionalism. Mike understands the value of his relationships at home, but both he and his family know that the work he does is not restricted to the confines of a Monday through Friday weekday business schedule. Information needed for public safety comes around the clock, and Mike is always monitoring local, state, national and international news outlets, scanning for the information that is most pertinent to those at home. As the need arises, he can publish notifications expeditiously and continues to monitor questions as they come up on social media postings during off-hours.

Successful Business Ventures

Mike has taught hundreds of police officers across the United States on the professional and effective use of social media for both personal and official purposes. He is the co-owner of Law Enforcement Social, which is the parent company of Law Enforcement Social Media Training and Law Enforcement Website Design.

Image

Mike Wants To Know...

If you asked Alexa or Siri for information about the latest news from your department, would anything come back?

85% of internet searches will be done through voice search on a mobile voice in 2020. 

 

What's your plan?

Contact Mike at mike@mikebires.com for any questions you might have!