It is our honor to announce that Washington State Patrol (WSP) Sergeant Mark Francis won second place in “Social Media Crisis Communications” at the Government in Social Media Conference in Dallas, Texas.


Sergeant Francis was recognized for his outstanding work as the public information officer during the Cascade Mall shooting in Burlington, Washington.

On Friday, September 24, 2016, local law enforcement agencies responded to dispatch calls that an active shooter opened fire inside the mall.

The gunman killed five people that night.

Throughout the incident, Sergeant Francis continued to keep the public informed by releasing live-updates via Twitter and Facebook. Trooper Heather Axtman and Trooper Rick Johnson also assisted in sending messages online and conducting interviews.

These are the calls law enforcement officers never want to hear, but it’s in times of tremendous tragedy that true professionalism can help navigate the chaos.