Kudos to Philadelphia Police Detective Joseph Murray, who will soon be allowed to resume his twitter feed, broadcasting crime alerts, tips, and news directly to the citizens he serves.
Community policing is all about making meaningful connections between citizens and police officers. Why not extend that connection to where so many people are already gathered: online.
So kudos to Joseph Murray, a Philadelphia police detective in the Southwest Division, who will soon be allowed to resume his Twitter feed (@TheFuzz9143), broadcasting crime alerts, tips, and news directly to the citizens he serves.
He had been going strong for about two years, and more than 600 tweets, until he voluntarily stopped in January to make sure the communication was officially sanctioned by the police department. The department did not have a strategy or training procedure for social media and was leery of Murray using his professional identity online.
Murray is an excellent model for other social media-savvy officers to follow. By interacting with people on the street and online, Murray was able to infer patterns in illegal activity to keep citizens better informed and, therefore, safer.
Perhaps just as importantly, he was also able to build trust — which is necessary and so often lacking — by directly interacting and exchanging information with citizens.