Ever wonder what it would be like to be a police officer? Now you can join them on the Internet’s version of a ridealong – a Tweetalong. There’s one happening tomorrow, actually.
Not every precinct offers these, of course. But we figure they’ll have no choice in the future when we’re all strapped into our virtual reality machines experiencing “reality” via a surrogate. Oh like we aren’t thisclose to it happening now?
A #tweetalong, writer Kristi Eaton reports, is a “virtual ridealong on Twitter [where] curious citizens just need a computer or smartphone for a glimpse into law enforcement officers’ daily routines.”
Tweetalongs typically are scheduled for a set number of hours, with an officer — or a designated tweeter like the department’s public information officer — posting regular updates to Twitter about what they see and do while on duty. The tweets, which also include photos and links to videos of the officers, can encompass an array of activities — everything from an officer responding to a homicide to a noise complaint.
For police departments, tweetalongs are just one more way to connect directly with a community through social media.
The Rapid City Police Department in South Dakota offers tweetalongs – and so do departments Seattle, Kansas City, Mo., and Las Vegas. The Rapid City folks even have a separate account for this specific purpose. And – lucky day – that account @rcpdtweetalong will be sharing another tweetalong on Friday, December 28 at 11 am MT!
Rapid City Police Chief Steve Allender, said tweetalongs “show some of the more outrageous calls police deal with on a regular basis — like the kid who breaks out the window of a police car while the officer is standing on the sidewalk.”
“Real life is funnier than any comedy show out there and not to make fun of people, embarrass them or humiliate them, but people do funny things,” Allender said. “… I mean, that guy deserves a little bit of ridicule, and everyone who would be watching would agree. That’s just good clean fun to me.”
And we bet the NYPD’s 76th Precinct would agree with that!
Will you be tuning in tomorrow?
(Police image from Shutterstock)