The Daily Iowan recently ran a story about how the Coralville PD was using Twitter. Coralville is the town adjacent to Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa.
For the last month, the police have sent updates, called “tweets,” using this social-networking site.
Some updates, such as the one above, are fun. Others are for public information: “Coralville PD does house checks – we’ll check on your home while you’re gone. Call our routine # for details or to set one up.” Several are regarding traffic: “Reminder: Avoid Hwy 6/1st Ave tomorrow morning!”
Full story inside.
“The goal wasn’t to use Twitter as an emergency notification tool – more of a public-relations tool,” said Coralville police Officer Meleah Droll.
Their account, @StateCollegePD was only active for a little while before its page was scrubbed of all content. All that’s left is the list of its 118 followers.
We sent out a query to the Penn State Twitterati, and got a tip that the account was shut down because citizens were “paranoid” about the police’s online presence. Personally, I thought the account was helpful. It had been posting traffic updates and other useful information. Maybe they’ll try the idea again sometime. We hope they do.