North Texas Daily

Denton PD participates in global tweet-a-long

Denton PD participates in global tweet-a-long

March 22
00:24 2013

T.S. Johnson

Senior Staff Writer

While receiving calls tomorrow morning, Denton public information officer Ryan Grelle will ride along on a typical police day. But instead of merely observing, he will be notifying Denton’s happenings to a worldwide audience through the magic of Twitter.

As part of its recent “tweet-a-longs,” the Denton police department will take part in the first ever global edition, applying the hashtag #poltwt from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We physically tweet the calls that an officer is dispatched out to,” Grelle said. “Any call that we get dispatched to in our area is the call that I will be tweeting out. Whether it’s an assault or a theft, we will tweet it.”

Usually Grelle posts the calls from the entire city – but for today, he will suit up in a uniform and ride along with an officer, he said. This will allow them to tweet more than calls, including pictures, and also allow an officer at the scene to answer questions.

“It gives people an idea of what a policeman’s day is like,” said Samra Bufkins, journalism professor and social media expert. “Denton P.D. is very good at responding to questions on Twitter, so it kind of humanizes them and allows people to see what’s going on.”

More than 150 agencies around the world will also tweet under the specific hashtag, creating the first-ever worldwide tweet-a-long, Grelle said. The idea was spawned a while ago, and the Denton police are happy it’s finally going to take place.

“We tried to set this up last year,” Grelle said. “For whatever reason the coordination worked out better this year and it caught. Hopefully it will be bigger next year but right now we just have to play it by ear.”

For the Denton department, the tweet-a-long has already been deemed a success, Grelle said. As long as the community keeps responding with a positive vibe, expect the local editions to continue at a tentative pace of once a month.

“I’m not trying to sound arrogant but we know it’s a success. Our followers like it,” Grelle said. “It depends on the other agencies, whether this happens again. If they decide to continue then we will sign up.”

For people interested in the differences in law enforcement around the globe, the tweet-a-long will be a perfect example of seeing how different agencies deal with varying problems.

“One agency this morning talked about a sheep being out,” Grelle. “We don’t have very many sheep in Denton, so people will be able to see the differences in problems.”

UNT students are also excited to experience the global police tweet-a-long.

“I think it is great that the Denton PD is engaging with the community first hand through Twitter,” political science senior Daphney Gomez said. “I am definitely interested in the tweet-a-long tomorrow.”

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