Eau Claire, WI (WEAU) -- Today local police officers were participating in a global social media effort to raise awareness about how twitter can help law enforcement.
The Eau Claire police department took to twitter for what is essentially a virtual ride-along. Showing the public what a day in the life of a police officer is actually like, and how being active on social media is allowing them to help the community.
Officer Kyle Roder with the Eau Claire police department says the department having a Twitter account helps keep them connected to the public. Roder says, "It's more than just a novelty to do this, there is a benefit in it. In having people connect with us.”
The police department is participating with law enforcement agencies around the world, which Roder say the benefit of it is to raise awareness about how the department is using Twitter to give the public fast and accurate information they can use.
Roder says, “We're out there, we're putting out information, we're in the public, we do community events. We do different things and show a different side to what law enforcement really is."
As soon as Roder gets a call, he tweets the information to make sure the public stays updated and then it's off to the scene. Roder says, “Most of the stuff that we do, most of the stuff that we're going to be tweeting about today, you'll find is stuff that you probably don't realize that police do.
It's stuff that's part of our everyday job but it's not the glamorous stuff that makes and episode of cops, or makes a movie, so we want to get the real world stuff out there to people.
Such as making sure a dog is released from a hot car, and while it may not be glamorous, Roder say Iit's about making our community a little safer.
Roder says, “The more followers that we have as a police department, the easier it is to get information out. if we have a road closure because of a crash and we're re-routing traffic, if we can put that out to the public and now have thousands of people that can view that, it can help out officers so they're safer in doing their jobs at a crash scene.”
So whether it's a speeding ticket or a crash Roder says getting the information into the hands of the public is beneficial. Roder says., “I think for our department, it's important for people to understand, people may ask, "Why spend the time on twitter?" It's very efficient, it gets a lot of followers and a lot of information out quickly.”
Roder also says Connected Cops put out a chart saying that out of hundreds of law enforcement agencies, the Eau Claire police department was ranked 16th for being vocal, which Roder says is amazing given the size of the department compared to departments in New York or L.A.