Police ‘virtual ridealongs’ offered via social media

12/27/2012 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Police departments across the country have begun to make virtual ridealongs available through social media to give the public a glimpse into their experiences on the job. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), several in the U.S. and Canada have made virtual ridealongs available through Twitter for individuals who may be curious about the daily routines of officers and what occurs during investigations or responses to calls.

Chief Steve Allender of the Rapid City Police Department in South Dakota, which offers tweetalongs, is quoted by the AP as stating, “People spend hard-earned money on taxes to allow the government to provide services. That’s police, fire, water, streets, the whole works, and there should be a way for those government agencies to let the public know what they’re getting for their money.”

Social media is reportedly utilized by over an estimated 92 percent of police departments.

Michael Taddesse of Arlington, Texas, who has participated in multiple police ridealongs, is quoted in the report as stating of the virtual approach, “I think the only way to effectively combat crime is to have a community that is engaged and understands what’s going on.”

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