Need? Do you really need to follow the police on social media? Very simply put, yes you do. You need to follow your local city police, county police and state police.
Some of you may be thinking that, “Tim, I already abide by the laws, I’m a good citizen, why do I need to follow the police? ” Well that’s a great question and the best answer I have is because you are exactly who they need to follow them. That’s right, the police need you to follow them.
Your name is John or Jane. You’re married in your mid thirties. You have 2 children, commute everyday to work in an office, enjoy dinner with your family playing with your kids after eating and on the weekends you do your shopping, get your kids to their activities, catch up with friends and don’t give a second thought to your personal safety.
You are the perfect follower for the police. You see, you make up the vast majority of the tax base of any given community. You rarely require the services of your police and chances are the only contact you have had with them is though a traffic stop or because of that ‘stupid thing you did as a teenager’.
The police need you because you are their secret weapon. You want to know that when you are at work your home is protected. You want to know that you will be safe travelling to and from your office and that while you are there you won’t become the victim of a crime. You want to know that there won’t be any bad people trying to talk to our children in real life or online.
You want to know that the police are there for you, but you never want to need them. Your police department also wants life to be exactly like that. But because of life isn’t just that “Mayberry” you need to follow your police on social media.
The police are holders of vast information and they want to share that information with you because they know something else about you. You will share that information with your friends and family because it will make them safer and protect them from the same things that you are protected from.
The police will share crime prevention information. Things that most of us take for granted like why the bushes in front of our windows should be the kinds with thorns on them or what that little mirror on the bank machine is actually for.
Some police officers will try to inspire young children with creativity and showing them there is more to life than they sometimes see or take them on a camping trip to get them out of the concrete walls that are sometimes their only existence.
They will let you know about crashes and traffic disruptions to ease your commute and the local weather so you know how to dress for the day. The police will warn you about the bad guys and girls that could cause you harm and the ways they will do it, like when you aren’t paying attention on the subway and you find yourself the victim of a smart phone theft.
A great police department on social media will tell you that there are three things needed for a crime to occur:
§ A victim
§ An opportunity
§ A criminal
They will show you how to insulate yourself from becoming a victim and how to remove yourself from the opportunity equation and how to avoid the criminal.
When active crime is happening, you know you can turn to your police for the facts and the information that is credible because they don’t work in speculation or innuendo. Your police aren’t on a timeline for keeping viewers on their channel so they don’t start massive fishing expeditions for the next great rumour.
Is there a criminal in your midst or a new type of crime that is looking for fresh victims? Your police will be providing that information to help make you safer.
Here is one of the best reasons that you should be following your police. They actually want to talk to you! They want to know what concerns you. They want to know what areas of your town you won’t go to after dark. They want to know what you believe they could do better to serve your community. Reach out and say “Hello” to your police department and there is a really good chance they will say hello back.
Need a laugh? There are police departments that specialize in adding humor to the social stream because they know the world can be a pretty depressing place some days and everyone could use a little laugh from time to time and they like to show their lighter side…
To give you the best reason to follow your local police, I have to go back 185 years to the birth of modern policing and the man who put in place the rules that still exist today. Sir Robert Peel is the father of modern policing and in 1829 he developed the Peels Principals of Policing.
One of those principles, the seventh, states, “… the police are the public and that the public are the police…” In other words, we all need to be there for each other. The police are members of the public and while they will come to our aid, we must also come to theirs and also to one another. If following, liking, retweeting, subscribing and sharing their information is the best we can do then we should all do it.
Ever think what your town would be like without crime? Imagine a place where tax dollars can be directed at social programs, school lunch and breakfast programs, senior care programs because as a community you insulated yourself so well against crime and made such a strong stance against criminals that the purpose of the police was just to maintain order and give advice as opposed to chasing the bad people around and burdening the courts! Sure, that’s a bit of a pipe-dream, but where would we be today if the dreamers of yesterday didn’t succeed.
Search the name of your police department, go to their website and look for their social icons so that you can help your city, your community and yes, even yourself be a little safer, more aware, educated and sometimes even entertained.
If your police aren’t everything I’ve described, let me know. I’ll reach out to them for you.