Jeannette police handles crime with a hashtag on new Twitter account
A little bird is now helping Jeannette police tweet local concerns and warrants issued via social media.
The official Twitter account City of Jeannette Police Department went live this month. The account is run by police Chief Shannon Binda and his staff.
Aside from the goal of reaching more people, Binda believes Twitter may appeal to a younger audience as well.
“It’s just another social media outlet that people will go to,” Binda said. “I’m not a Facebook person, but I have a Twitter account.”
The department’s Facebook page boasts over 2,600 likes. Its new Twitter account, launched Nov. 5, had 40 followers as of Sunday.
Both social media accounts are directly linked to the department’s main informational platform, Crimewatch . The Crimewatch account is like a digital community watchdog that allows U.S. law enforcement agencies to share pertinent information with citizens and each other. Police departments can post local news, open warrants, monthly reports and more.
“With the Crimewatch website, we can hit one button and it shoots (the message) out to … all the local media that we have set up with just one touch of a button,” Binda said, noting the account has helped the department successfully serve 14 warrants since it launched in September.
Residents can submit tips anonymously through the Crimewatch account, Binda said.
In an online announcement, Jeannette officials said Crimewatch provides an effective way to help fight crime and stay informed, especially with smartphones and social media.
The website also claims that Jeannette’s police department is the first from Westmoreland County to join Crimewatch, with more than 140 other departments across the United States.
There, people can sign up for free email and alerts, download the Crimewatch app and find other resources and contact information.
Candace Howell is a freelance writer.