Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Cops are Tweeting

I was looking around the Internet to find something interesting to comment on and this piece of news caught my eye.

Police all over the world use communication devices like the two way radio, cellular phones, scanners, etc. to monitor criminal activity in their territory. There are those who are obsessed with the practice and they even steal the radios or hack into the police feed to know what the police know. These are your usual busybodies, conspiracy theorists, or your plain old criminal wanting to be one step ahead of the coppers. Information is the key and if the police do not get that particular piece of information in times and that could spell the difference between dead or alive.

Twitter is a website that people use to post inane 140 character fragments about their new shoes or cute boyfriend. So why should the police be berated to that level when they are doing a public service? It could be advantageous in situations where for example, they broadcasted "Serial killer on the loose, stay away from dentists" or something like that.

The Seattle Police Department used Twitter as their police scanner and a lot of people were irritated by it. That mad me laugh. Haha. No, really. The followers unfollowed @SeattlePD because they got so many tweets that frankly, they did not care about. I would probably be annoyed too but I don't have a Twitter account so I'm fine either way. I was amused at Seattle PD's initiative to use social media for public service and I think they were trying to find out if it worked to their advantage. I say, this is just birthing pains on the use of social media for public interest and crime prevention. They just have to iron out the process they use and streamline it to make it as less annoying as possible. If we transplant this to the Philippine setting though, boy, I wonder what we'd get. We don't even trust the PD's that much so I could see the difficulty of trusting their tweets. Well, nice try to Seattle PD. I'm interested to see other experiments like this in the future. There could be a gold mine in it.

Entry 7?

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