The Borough of Munhall Police Department has been very active on Facebook for some time with quite an active following but recently breathed new life into their Social Media efforts by redesigning their Crime Watch page and adding many new features.
Police Chief Patrick Campbell and Community Policing Officer Dan Boehme recognize that it is important to work with the public to better the Police Department, its investigations and to work as a community and to prevent crime. Facebook is another platform that is being added to the arsenal of tools to fight crime and keep the public safe.
Working closely with Tubu Internet Solutions, the Police Department has been able to establish a feature rich, engaging page and learn the best practices for running such a Facebook presence.
The overall idea behind the Munhall Borough Police Department Crime Watch Facebook Page is to use the established, recognized entity that is Crime Watch to be the Facebook Public Information channel for the Police Department.
Through the Facebook Page the Police Department can quickly make public pertinent information and engage with users in the community and more.
The Facebook Page isn’t just a case of putting information out there. It’s not a soap box to stand on, it’s about engaging and using information where appropriate.
While not overly complicated, the Munhall Police Crime Watch page offers many features that have not yet been adopted by Departments in the area.
There is a clearly posted “Posting and Takedown Policy” wherein the Department outlines the use of the page and that it will not stand for abuse of the service.
Their closely monitored Facebook wall open and allows comments to be posted to it, making it less megaphone and more a conversation.
Content shared on the wall varies from news about Department events to local media coverage of the borough to funny items to share with the community.
As well as the Page administrators sharing content there is an elaborate alert system set up to share information directly from the State of Pennsylvania and Allegheny County.
Storm Alerts and Warnings, Amber Alerts, State issued recalls and product safety notifications, and State Wide Health Notifications are just some of the Alerts that the Police Department channels to its public.
There’s a Contact/Tip for for users to use to send information directly to the department.
The recent addition of a Borough Crime Map has been of great interest. Letting the Public see what is going on around their neighborhood just by glancing at an easy to reference, interactive map.
The Department page is run by the Community Policing Officer and dispatchers within the Department giving every shift access in various forms to disseminate information as necessary letting the residents of Munhall know about cooling station locations, Road Closures, missing persons, even correcting the ‘traditional’ news media on major events.
It’s interesting to see how different Police Departments (or Constabularies) from different communities and different parts of the World are using Facebook to further their Policing efforts (see this post about the Isle of Man Constabulary)
Author: Andy Quayle
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