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High-profile police commissioner launching a Facebook for cops

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Is there a place for a Facebook for each occupation? A Facebook for doctors, for marketing creatives, for chefs? The answer appears to be no, because they don’t exist. A chef may want to chat with other chefs, but they also interact with others, non-chefs, like those who frequent their restaurants. So for that, you want to use services like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

But perhaps police are a different matter, given the possible security side of things.

Bill Bratton, the former police commissioner of the New York, Los Angeles, and Boston police departments, has founded Bratton Technologies, and the company is now beta-testing the BlueLine social network for police. Currently 100 officers in Southern California and several dozen more police departments will come online later in the year.

BlueLine is geared toward sharing best practices and the application of technology to policing, and it is not intended for direct application to current investigations, like other interpolice networks. And the service is closed to accredited police.

Apparently, a great deal of Facebook DNA has been applied, with Like and Share buttons. Groups are organized around police topics of interest, like gangs, narcotics, sex crimes, and so on. And developers are building applications that can run in BlueLine, like a way to create a database of gang-related tattoos, for example, and to enlist other police to contribute.

So unlike most other occupations, a Facebook for cops might make a lot of sense.