Tags: Law Enforcement | twitter | police scanner | crime

3 Ways Twitter Makes a Good Police Scanner

By    |   Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 05:30 PM

Long gone are the days of listening to static-filled police scanners to get instant information on neighborhood crime. Now, many police departments, in an effort to be more transparent, live tweet information typically found on scanners.

This more technology-centered approach turns out to have many benefits when it comes to public safety and policing. Here are three ways Twitter makes a good police scanner:

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1. In the case of an emergency…
While people no longer carry around large radios to listen to in the event of an emergency, cell phones are nearly ubiquitous in America. In times of emergencies, police departments use Twitter to share and update the public on important situations.

For example, following the Boston Marathon bombings, Popular Science reported the Cambridge Police Twitter account updated the public as it cleared various scenes and made developments in the case. Even the first media story to hit the internet, on Deadspin, was composed mostly of social media accounts of what was happening.

Even on smaller scales, local police departments have turned to Twitter for its immediacy in an emergency. “We think the police department has an obligation to get information out to the community through whatever means or mechanisms we have at our disposal. Traditional media releases … is 24 hours too late,” Lakeland, Florida, Police Assistant Chief Bill LePere told CNN.

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2. “Tweets by Beat.”
To inform metropolitan residents about crime in their neighborhood, Seattle Police Department created “Tweets by Beat,” a series of 51 twitter accounts each focusing on a different neighborhood.

However, unlike live radio police scanners, the Seattle PD is offering slightly more restraint. “In order to protect crime victims, officers, and the integrity of crime scenes, calls will appear on the Twitter feeds one hour after a dispatcher sends the call to an officer,” their website states.

They also restrain from sharing certain types of crime such as domestic violence and sexual assaults.


3. Road Closings.
It’s not just for emergencies and high-profiles cases. Police departments also use their Twitter accounts to inform the public of road closings and other abnormalities that may affect their day, CNN reported.

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Long gone are the days of listening to static-filled police scanners to get instant information on neighborhood crime. Now, many police departments, in an effort to be more transparent, live tweet information typically found on scanners.
twitter, police scanner, crime
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2015-30-04
Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 05:30 PM
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