John Cutlip – Assistant Editor
STRUTHERS – The Struthers Police Department has gone social.
The Internet savvy can now connect with the SPD on Facebook and Twitter, the largest and second-largest social networks in the world, respectively.
“We’re keeping up with current trends in getting information out to citizens,” Police Chief Tim Roddy said.
Roddy explained that the department also will be involved in two other social outlets, Nixle and Crimedar.
Nixle provides both free and paid notifications for local police departments and emergency services. Residents will be able to sign up at Nixle.com to receive information about emergencies in Struthers, such as road closures.
Crimedar is a paid online service that allows users to view crimes in their area on a Bing map. Residents can sign up or check out the free trial at crimedar.com.
Roddy said he is “waiting to get the go-ahead” on both Nixle and Crimedar.
The idea to start posting on the Internet came from Struthers Detective Jeff Lewis.
“We’re trying to connect with local residents in ways other than on the side of the road on a traffic stop,” Lewis said jokingly.
Lewis said he developed the idea while he worked at the Milton Police Department in the last four years.
“We’re hoping to mainly get crime-related tips,” he said, adding that the department plans to add mugshots of wanted criminals on their Facebook page in the future.
So far, Lewis said, the department’s online presence has been getting large amounts of feedback.
“We had one week where we had as high as 12,000 people reached,” he said about the Facebook page. “On average its four to five thousand people a week.”
The police department also posts stories and photos from local news outlets as a way of reaching out to the community.
To “like” their page and “follow” their tweets, go to Facebook.com/pages/Struthers-Police-Department/359114260837858 and Twitter.com/StruthersPolice.