Twitter can be a powerful law enforcement tool. It can warn the public, ask the public for tips and be used as a way to convey news and information.
Thank you to Lt. Matthew Murray, Chief of Staff, for the interview regarding the Denver Police Department’s use of Twitter.
How long has your police department used Twitter?
What type of Tweets does your department make?
Primarily informational, but we also release news stories every day (Facebook).
What other social media does your department use?
Facebook, WordPress, YouTube, Pinterest.
We have added a radio station and are building a television set. Broadcasts will take place via DenverPolice News on social media.
Does your department have an enumerated social media policy? If so, can
you share parts or all of it with us, please?
No, we do not have a policy.
Please describe briefly the situation of the recent shooter situation and
why Twitter was chosen.
Twitter is a platform that allows for immediate answers to both the media and the public. We have a large following – and the conversation is visible to all followers.
Please list and describe other social media and methods of contacting the
public, if any, that were used in the situation.
Press conferences – social media is by far the primary focus for releasing
information by DPD.
Does your city and county have any coordinated social media efforts in
place when there is an emergency? If so, please describe.
Some small efforts, we are by far the largest in the city – thus become primary.
Do your local communities have coordinated, agreed upon in advance hashtags and other phrases to use for Twitter or other social media? If so, what are they?
No, it is not coordinated.
If you were able to measure the effectiveness in your tweeting, please let
us know how valuable it was.
We have seen the media alter their own erroneous reporting, change their methods, and treat us with greater respect than before. Because we have a large audience, and are not afraid to use it, we have leveled the playing field.
The value is immeasurable.
We have also seen that this causes the public to question the media and defend the police department. As one prominent businessman recently said, “They (Denver Police) are playing offense.”