Each recipient provided a story of hope and expectation. Hope in the sense that it restored faith in the quality and commitment of Policing across the globe, particualrly in light of much recent negativity. That hope sustaining my belief that the vaste majority of cops do work hard and will deliver.
The expectation is that if these winners can achieve so much, imagine what can be achieved if their stories and accounts are repeated, borrowed with pride and replicated virally.
So the awards impressed. I have to say I am so pleased for Mike Brown. An individual who much deserved his award as Top Cop. He has known the ups and downs of corporate attention, ignorance and support, challenge and authority. I have nothing but respect for the way he has calmly managed all this and it is with great delight that his talents are now being used nationally. He remains a traveller, seeking improvement on his bumpy road. An asset of true value and an ambassador.
His presentation given later was dynamic and well informed, points argued from the head and the heart yet delivered professionally without notes or PowerPoint.
He had the misfortune to follow a highly emotional yet brilliant presentation by Alex and Paul from RCMP New Brunswick. Telling the very recent story of how they managed the death of three colleagues in an informative and well structured manner, was itself an exemplar of the word professional. Holding the audience spellbound, yet imparting learned wisdom and knowledge was an amazing sight. Very powerful yet filled with aspects of the case that inspired. Their colleagues will not be forgotten.
In between the awards and the RCMP Babak Ahghar gave us an incredible insight into the world of the EU. He discussed an array of EU bodies and their respective contributions and initiatives. From CENTRIC to Athena he discussed some of the work he is undertaking at Sheffield Hallam. Highly informative and again well worth following up
Following Mike Browns delivery Hootsuite gave a really useful account of one of the more valuable tools for helping organisations to manage its interaction through Social Media. A tool many use for simply managing separate profile feeds has a great deal more to offer at an organisational level. Hootsuite UK described its connections with UK Police and many other public and private agencies and organisations, helping them to maximise their use of social media.
The theme of professionalism was extended by David Bailey (Staffs Police) painting an image of a Force in control of its Social Media engagement, flexibly grabbing opportunities to share and to answer. Extolling the virtues of a wide range of SM opportunities, providing examples of cases and initiatives across a host of platforms. Very well delivered and informative.
After David came Simon Cole. As Chief of Leicestershire he has driven Socail Media and is an exemplar of a much engaged senior officer, directing, guiding challenging yet "doing" social media. He is amongst a now steadily increasing group of Chiefs who have crossed the rubicon and have embraced the value and potential of social media.
So a very useful day full of excellent speakers topped off with an inquisitive audience.
See #SMILEcon on Twitter for all the links pictures and comments from the presenters and audience