Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Police in Milwaukee use Twitter!

I recently came across this article that discusses how the Milwaukee Police Department uses Twitter (@milwaukeepolice). Apparently, the MPD utilizes the social media service to provide followers (assumably members of the community) with updates on crime and other important notices. There are a number of public agencies (Fire, Police, FBI, etc.) using Twitter as a source to get information to the public. Here are some of the other uses of Twitter for these agencies:
..alert people to traffic disruptions, to explain why police are in a certain neighborhood or to offer crime prevention tips...encourage leads on more pressing matters: bomb scares, wildfires, school lockdowns and evacuations.
It is extremely important to note that not all Twitter account holders are actually who they say they are. There was a case where somebody created a Twitter ID that was supposedly the Austin Police Department in Texas. The Texas attorney general's office shut down the account which had about 450 followers and used the official city seal. If you're going to follow your city's official Twitter ID, be sure to double-check it's authenticity by phone the department or checking their website. Upon investigating my own home town of Las Vegas, they are up and running on Twitter (@LVMPD). Now I'm sure to know why the 'ghetto bird' keeps flying over head...