It was a bold plan. In 2012, the Dutch government, prioritizing street safety across the entire country, decided to centralize 26 local police corps into one National Police force.

Too Many Websites Serving Too Many Functions

Alongside the organizational changes, the Dutch police would reinvent its digital communications with citizen involvement at the forefront of its strategy. But first, an overhaul and consolidation of the existing web environment would be needed. Centralizing the police would mean centralizing its digital landscape: over 300 websites—managed by multiple WCM systems, would be migrated into one Hippo CMS instance. To increase efficiency and streamline communication between police throughout the country, an existing fragmented intranet and extranet would be replaced. One central Web Content Management Environment would facilitate greater content exchange between police forces, and simplify the management and maintenance of these environments.

Openness, Transparency and Citizen Involvement

The Dutch police force’s motto: openness, transparency and citizen involvement served as a set of guiding principles for the new web content strategy.  To increase accessibility and better engage with citizens, a new mobile site utilizing the GPS functionality of mobile phones was set up. To serve locally relevant content to the mobile citizen, geolocation info helps mobile site visitors finding the nearest police station.

But it’s not just access to optimized content that the project provided--it’s the ability for citizens to contribute as well. As Ruud Paulusse, the project manager for the Dutch Police said, “it was crucial to make it easier for citizens to ask us a question and report an incident.  That includes uploading photo and video footage both from their home and mobiles.”  The police leveraged the power of social media to personalize interaction between officers and their local communities.  “Social media gives us a direct line to the citizen,” says Ruud. “They can find their neighborhood officers on the web- and mobile site and directly engage with them on Facebook and Twitter.”

Not Just Websites – It’s Mobile Apps Too

The Police also introduced a revolutionary mobile app for their press officers on the street. Equipped with a secure device, they can create news via a micro version of Hippo CMS.  This app allows the police  to keep the public informed of what’s happening in the community instantaneously.  As Paulusse emphasized “our press officers are always at the scene of large incidents very quickly.  They now can create news items and photos directly on the street and publish them to the website – that is an enormous benefit for our editorial capacity and speed of delivery.” 

To learn more about what The Dutch Police are doing with content, we welcome you to download our white paper here

Article written by by Sonja Wraith, VP Marketing at Hippo.