Police In Seattle “Tweet By Beat”

No, this isn’t a dance routine – Seattle police are using Twitter to bring safety alerts to the next level.

If you are/were fond of listening to police scanners, you’ll go nuts over this.

The Seattle Police Department is “making it easier than ever before for you to find out about crime happening in your neighborhood.”

With Tweets by Beat, you can follow or view a Twitter feed of police dispatches in each of Seattle’s 51 police beats, and find out about the flashing lights and sirens on your block.


But wait, what about victim privacy? And won’t criminals use it to get the jump on investigators? They’ve thought of that too:

In order to protect crime victims, officers, and the integrity of investigations, calls will display one hour after a dispatcher sends the call to an officer. The feeds also do not include information about domestic violence calls, sexual assaults, and other certain types of crimes.

And they’re not fooling around and taking their time with one or two “test beats,” they appear to have jumped right in, covering the entire Seattle area:

And just looking at the first feed listed, @SeattlePDB1, shows the matter-of-fact nature of the tweets. Valuable info for resident, no doubt.

They cover “news/events from Seattle Police. This site is not monitored. Call 911 for emergencies. Comments, list of followers subject to public disclosure (RCW 42.56).”

You can check out the map with all the sectors here.

Would you follow your local police if they tweeted their beat?

(Tweets by Beat image from @SeattlePDB1)

@MaryCLong maryclong@digitalmediaghost.com Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.