T he Whitehall Police Department joined its counterparts around the world Friday in participating in the first ever, 24 hour global police tweet-a-thon.
The event, which was organized by LAwS Communication, aimed to create awareness about police work and issues, as well as promote the use of social media by law enforcement agencies.
Whitehall Patrolman Tim Hardy said it was a way for the department to let the public know the department is every bit as connected as the people it serves.
“Everyone has a Facebook or Twitter account,” Hardy said. “This is a way to let people know we’re on social media, that we have a website.”
He said the social media is a great way to keep the community apprised of road closures, parking bans, boil water notices, and other issues that are important to people in the community or information that needs to be disseminated quickly to aid in law enforcement, such as missing people.
The Whitehall Police Department has been using social media for a couple of years and routinely posts information on Twitter and Facebook. It also uses Nixle, a notification system that sends information to subscribers’ email accounts and cell phones.
The department’s Facebook has more than a 1,000 likes, which represents nearly a third of the population of Whitehall.
Police departments as far away as Australia participated in Friday’s tweet-a-thon, which began at 8 a.m. In all, more than 160 departments around the world took part in the one day event. Whitehall was the only law enforcement agency in New York State that participated.
The department’s Twitter account can be followed at @WhitehallPolice. The department’s Facebook account is Whitehall Police Department (NY). Its website is www.whitehallpolice.org.