Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Committee Chair

Charles Scheer

Committee Chair Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 2

Joshua Hill

Committee Member 2 Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 3

Thomas Panko

Committee Member 3 Department

Criminal Justice


In recent decades, the Internet has flourished with the advancement of social media: apps, blogs, social networking, multimedia sources, podcasts, and more. Consequently, the Millennial Generation has grown up immersed in both the Internet and social media networks differently than previous generations. Due to the rapid expansion of social media outlets and their effects on future employees, police departments must consider their agency “brand” and how effectively they market their departments to this generation for the purpose of recruitment both on the Internet and with social media platforms.

This research analysis employed a netnography to examine 500 police websites and their additional social media presence. In general, this study found police departments are not using websites or social media as recruitment tools. An agency’s size, budget, and having a departmental website are predictors of total social media recruitment. Further, those elements influence a jurisdictional websites online effectiveness, or overall quality, but do not impact departmental websites effectiveness because they are already of a high quality. This analysis supports the idea that police departments generally are not maintaining an online presence or actively recruiting online.