Seattle Police Crime Blotter Article: http://mashable.com/2012/10/03/seattle-police-blotter-twitter/
Similar to the article about the Pittsburgh police receiving training on social media, this article explains that the Seattle Police department is doing their part on the social media scene. The Seattle PD is expanding the use of their Twitter handle, @Seattlepd in order to keep local residents updates in all things happening around the city. The digital program is called “Tweets-by-beat” and it covers 51 local feeds from the officers ‘beats’ around the city. The PD’s goal is to create awareness of personal safety in order to hopefully prevent crimes. Sergeant Whitcomb was quoted in the article in regards to how easy they want this social interaction to be for residents so that they feel more obliged to follow the Twitter feeds and updates. He also touched on when is the right time to post criminal acts in accordance with privacy issues.
I think this the Seattle PD is making the right move in connecting itself with its local residents. I think having an easily accessible Twitter feed will allow residents to access the information the need to make decisions. I also think it will help the PD in solving cases because they can reach out to a lot more people through social media than if they don’t use it at all….thus giving them a bigger pool of people who may know something that could help a case. Although similar to the Pittsburgh Police article in training police departments on social media tactics, Seattle is taking the ‘help out the residents’ route rather than solely teaching its officers about social media. Seattle has the people in mind as the priority of in getting information out and I think this could really help residents make informed decisions.
Will residents think that too much time will be spent tweeting updates rather than following the crimes by the officers? Also, do we think the public has the right to know everything that is going on in the city…who is overseeing what is posted so that Seattle as a city doesn’t inform residents incorrectly or make them worry?