HPD, NHPD: Looking for Facebook friendsFacebook is for everybody including local police departments. The Hudson Police Department and the North Hudson Police Department have both launched Facebook pages and are racking up new “friends.”
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
Facebook is for everybody including local police departments.
The Hudson Police Department and the North Hudson Police Department have both launched Facebook pages and are racking up new “friends.”
HPD Chief Marty Jensen and NHPD Mark Richert both attended a training session recently where a public information officer from the Boise, Idaho, police department explained how and why Facebook is good for her department. Both chiefs decided to get on the social media bandwagon.
“There are lots of benefits,” said Jensen. “We can post scam alerts, accident and traffic information, snow emergencies and information about crimes in the community. If we have a rash of car break-ins in a neighborhood, we can let people know and remind them to not leave valuables in their cars and to lock them.”
Richert said they expect to get information as well as give it. “If you see something suspicious or observe something in the area of something we are investigating, this is a way to contact us. There are incidents where information that came across a Facebook page has helped solve a case.”
Both men said their departments reserve the right to take down any information or content they deem inappropriate. The pages will contain a disclaimer explaining the policy.
Richert said the page could be a valuable public relations tool as well. “Sometimes people are more comfortable online — more so than on the phone or even in an email. If they have a problem with the way something is handled, they can contact us through the page and we’ll look into it. If we dropped the ball, maybe we can fix it.”
Jensen said that with all the time people spend on computers, it only makes sense for the police to make that connection as well.
Like the NHPD at www.facebook.com/NorthHudsonPoliceDepartment. Like HPD at www.facebook.com/HudsonWIPoliceDepartment. Jensen also has a Twitter account at Twitter@ChiefHudsonPD. Richert said he will also be available via Twitter in the near future.