Social media boosts morale at Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is using social media as a way to boost morale within the department.

Each week, spokesman Larry McKinnon surfs the agency’s social media pages like Facebook and Twitter, searching for positive comments or words of praise for the deputies, left by citizens.

Then, he cuts and copies the comments and pastes them into a main email. On Fridays, McKinnon sends the email to every person in the agency.

“We have to let our employees know that the public appreciates them,” McKinnon said. “We can all be winners in fighting crime to make this a better place to live.”

So far, his weekly emails, dubbed “Favorable Friday,” have been well-received by deputies and other staffers.

“We feel it’s vital to the overall emotional health of the agency,” said Col. J.R. Burton.

The project comes at a time when law enforcement agencies all over the country are dealing with negative perceptions caused by several high-profile incidents involving officers.

In Hillsborough County, the idea is simple: Create a better working environment within the department to craft a stronger relationship with the community.

“The way we treat the public turns out better. And at the end of the day, that’s the bottom line,” Burton said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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