Home' Auckland City Harbour News : December 1st 2010 Contents 5
AUCKLAND CITY HARBOUR NEWS, DECEMBER 1, 2010
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Police tweet to
stay in touch
By RHIANNON HORRELL
Twitter updates, Facebook feeds and a
new radio network is changing the way
Auckland police communicate.
A handful of officers have been selec-
ted to tweet up to three times per shift
which involves online updates.
Police recruitment marketing man-
ager James Whitaker says members of
the public following the posts appreci-
ate being able to get a feel for what
police are doing.
The posts can come from one of three
streams -- community, the police dog
squad or general duties -- and include
things such as: Stopped a disqualified
driver today after he almost took out a
pedestrian. Car impounded now and
he's meeting a judge re third breach.''
Another one reads: Just had a
drunk male smashing windows of cars.
On our way.''
Mr Whitaker says it's helpful that
the messages are straight-up accounts
of what the officers are doing and
they're free of corporate jargon.
The police work is for the public so
there's no reason why the public
shouldn't be able to see what we get up
to. A handful of officers have been
selected at this stage and they are in
different parts of the country.
By November 17, our general duties
stream, @nzpgenduties, had 130
followers. Our dog squad stream,
@nzpdelta, had 116 and our com-
munity policing tweets, @nzpcommun-
ity, had 84.
Obviously, the exposure is much
higher than the number of people who
choose to actually sign up or follow our
messages because you can view them
without actually being a follower,'' he
Some Twitter messages are also
posted at www.facebook.com/
Mr Whitaker says Twitter isn't huge
with the 18 to 25 age group but
Facebook is. Thankfully, you can set
it up so that your Twitter activity feeds
into your Facebook activity so this
means our target group can follow our
cops via Facebook without having to
actually subscribe to our tweets.''
A major changeover to an improved
digital radio network is also under way
for Auckland police to come into line
with similar systems in the United
States, the UK, Australia and Brazil.
Portable and vehicle radios in the
Auckland district should be switched
over by December 6. Police communi-
cations manager Noreen Hegarty says
the new system is encoded with com-
plex software so only authorised users
can hear it. The digital network will
allow police to communicate effectively
with fire and ambulance services.
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