Tweeting and Policing

We were hoping for the social media equivalent to "Cops" when we found out the Houston Police Department was going to live tweet another patrol. This isn't the first time they've taken to social media from the passenger seat of a squad car, back in September the department did another live tweeting event for a night patrol.

Police Officer Angela Douglas, a 16 year veteran of the police department handles social media exclusively. "It's kind of the trend to use social media to connect with citizens. Give them a glimpse into what an 8-hour patrol is like," Douglas said.

While we understand the need to stay current, we just wish the Houston Police live tweeting experience could pack more oomph. I mean in an entire eight-hour shift the calls that came in included a disturbance call at a grocery store (settled at the scene), a suspicious person call (again, nothing to see here, move along), and an open door call (nothing out of the ordinary). Each of these calls required paperwork, which Douglas shared with the @HoustonPolice Twitter audience which has about 8,100 followers.

"You want to give enough so that you can give an idea, but not give too much specific information," Douglas said about how she tweets. "We want to be safe."

"I don't want to tweet a picture of someone without their consent. No license plates. I didn't give addresses of where we were. No specific details of cases."

Man, we'd hope Officer Douglas would break protocol at least once and a while and tweet us some pictures or video of a suspect running from the police, getting tackled and getting a knee in the back. Maybe live tweet a car chase. The next #HPDTweetalong doesn't have a specific date set, but Douglas promises a night shift. Let's hope it's action packed.

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