Denton police join ‘tweet-a-thon’

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Denton police will join more than 100 other agencies around the world in a 24-hour “tweet-a-thon” set to begin at 8 a.m. Friday, March 22, and meant to bring attention to the use of social media in law enforcement.

Officers will tweet using the tag #poltwt. Organizers want to build awareness of issues officers face and promote the use of social media among police agencies.

This is Denton’s first year to participate in the program, said Officer Ryan Grelle, a spokesman for the department.

Grelle said that Denton was asked to participate two years ago but the event fell through. As soon as he was asked again, he jumped at the opportunity.

“I sent tweets to several agencies — two per state within the United States — asking if they wanted to join, as well as all the agencies within the D-FW area that already use Twitter,” Grelle said.

Agencies across the U.S. will be joined by others in Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Iceland and Australia for the tweet-a-thon, according to a news release from the Denton department.

Any agency can join the event and tweet during any portion of the 24-hour period.

Lauri Stevens, founder of LAwS Communications and organizer of the global police tweet-a-thon, said she hopes the event sends a message to people that their police officers are up to speed with social media and that they should use the Internet to communicate with officers and be stewards of public safety.

According to its website, LAwS Communications provides interactive media advice to law enforcement agencies.

Grelle said participating in the event is another step toward social media success.

Denton police have recognized the advantages of social networking after placing their “Most Wanted” list on Facebook. That initiative has led to 18 arrests, Grelle said.

“We hope to use the [Twitter] event as a virtual ride-along, giving the citizens of Denton and the world a look into the types of calls our officers handle daily,” Grelle said.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is mgray@dentonrc.com .


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