For the next 24 hours, you can be privy to all of the calls the Vancouver Police Department receives – from minor parking disputes to emergency violent crimes. In an effort to launch their new Twitter account with some oomph, Vancouver PD is tweeting for 24 hours, non-stop, giving the public a rare glimpse into a day in the life of a police department.
The CBC reports that Vancouver Constable Anne Longley will be in charge of the department’s Twitter account @VancouverPD today, tweeting every call the department receives.
Longley explains why they are running this Twitter campaign:
“For the first time, people will get a real sense of just how busy an average day can be for a large Canadian municipal department. Most days, members of the VPD handle about 500 calls.”
The department is quick to assure the public that no personal information will be divulged through the Tweets that could endanger anyone’s privacy or safety.
Interestingly, the comments on the CBC story are largely negative, along the lines of “if they have time to tweet, why can’t they just be working on stopping crime” or suggestions that the department will use the account frivolously. However, I’m of the opinion that this could be an effective campaign for the Vancouver PD (and other police departments around the world). It will offer a degree of transparency and show the public what a police department has to deal with every day. It’s an interesting use of Twitter, and I’m looking forward to watching the tweets roll out through the day.