Law Enforcement Increasingly Using Twitter to Keep Public Informed

July 7, 2009 at 11:43 am Leave a comment

More and more law enforcement agencies are embracing social media as a way to disseminate information quickly to the public. Although many local police departments have a Facebook page, increasingly Twitter is becoming the social media platform of choice of law enforcement agencies.

They use Twitter to send out information on fires, SWAT team deployments, traffic accidents, and more, so that citizens who subscribe to the department’s Twitter feed can avoid those hot spots.

Potentially, Twitter also could serve as a great feedback tool for police departments, but as Boston Police Commissioner, Guglielmi, points out, following up with the interactive aspect of Twitter would currently take a lot of effort and man-power. As such, many department are content simply to use the service as a broadcasting tool, kind of a like a 21st century police scanner.

Using it, as such, is useful to citizens, but is not necessarily using the technology at its full potential. As this technology continues to gain popularity, here’s hoping that police agencies can utilize social networking as a two-way communication tool, proving better service and reducing crime at the same time.


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