Ten years ago, in 2003 Cygnus Business Media purchased Officer.com, a trade portal for men and women in public safety. What officers on the street needed back in 2003…and continue to need now…was a faster, more impartial information delivery system that focused on the data that law enforcement professionals need to get the job done. Mainstream media outlets were (and often still are) too sensationalistic. This was different. Obviously we're not talking about classified or For Official Use Only (FOUO) information, but open source information that, when looked at as a whole data set, provided a better operational picture than bits and pieces received through controlled channels. By the end of 2007, the news and forums were just two pieces of a much larger pie on Officer.com. The site has since adopted podcasts, webinars, blogs, editorial and photo galleries, and has grown exponentially.
By January of 2010 nearly a million users each month were visiting the website, depending on it as a valuable resource for data and information. As of September 2013 there are now over three million posts in the Officer.com forums section. That is a huge amount of opinion and information shared by over 133,000 registered members!
Officer.com is designed as a virtual law enforcement agency online, with bureaus or commands for Headquarters, Patrol, Training/Academy, DB/Investigations, Special Operations and Support Services. Our Buyers Guide (full of gear and gadgets) evolved into the Property Room; after all, where else would you go to find equipment and/or evidence or the necessary tools to store and track evidence? Our Facebook page serves as our Squad Room where people can hang out and discuss issues that are work-related, but not necessarily work-specific. If we had to call our forums something that was agency structure related it would be the Locker Room. The conversations in there can sometimes get a little raunchy, but there is still an acceptable minimum level of professionalism maintained.
In July of 2012 Officer.com surpassed one million unique visitors to the site, and now averages over 1.1 million unique visitors each month.