#yourNeighborhoodNameHere – Connect citizens and officers 140 Characters at a Time


Mike Phibbs, of Richmond police, suggests an almost embarrassingly simple way of connecting beat officers with the communities they serve.

For the non-twitter-literate: A hashtag is a tag embedded in a message posted on the Twitter microblogging service, consisting of a word within the message prefixed with a hash sign, for example: “#usopentennis”. The hash (“#”) indicates that what follows is a searchable tag that indicates the subject of the message.

Phibbs writes, “Twitter could be used to connect citizens with the beat officers 140 characters at a time. By using the hash tag #Your Neighborhoods Name Here anyone can be instantly alerted to suspicious activities in the area. People can tweet a picture of the activity to officers, dispatchers and the rest of the community. The technologies allow everyone to be a crime fighter in their own way, as part of a neighbor action team or an individual who simply wants to improve their neighborhood.”

ConnectedCOPS.net – Law enforcements partner on the social web.

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  1. […] Another Innovative use of Twitter to connect the public with public safety using “hyper-local” twitter accounts. Incidents, with a few exceptions, such as sexual assault, are tweeted on a one hour delay (to reduce gawking and interference with investigations). Of course, it being twitter, the creation of the neighborhood oriented accounts gives residents a point of reference to discuss happenings in their neighborhoods as well.  Here is the New York Times Article via @KiwiChief. […]

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