Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Carrie Sanders

Advisor Role

Primary Supervisor

Second Advisor

Dr. Debra Langan

Advisor Role

secondary supervisor


With the advancement of social media platforms like Twitter increasingly being woven into the everyday activities of society members, police services, in an attempt to stay relevant and reflective, have begun adopting Twitter into their work initiatives. The present study examines the perceptions Canadian police officers regarding their use of Twitter as a community policing tool. Through semi-structured interviews with police officers and administrative staff operating official police Twitter accounts, and constructivist grounded theorizing, this research provides an in-depth examination of the perceptions of police officers who use Twitter as a part of community policing initiatives. Specifically, the study explores the experiences officers have had with adopting and learning to use Twitter, revealing an individualized and decentralized nature reflective of community policing, and also its value for intelligence gathering. Additionally, this research demonstrates how police perceive Twitter to function as a boundary object that transcends physical, geographical and cultural boundaries in order to develop relationships with various community groups. Further, through exploration of officers perceptions and experiences, this study uncovers how Twitter can be challenging for officers do to the lack of training and organizational support, which results in officer having to rely on self-governance and compensate for a lack of service resources. This research contributes to policing literature by providing a rare vantage point from the perspective of officers utilizing Twitter for their work.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Criminology Commons