PoliceTwitterI thought this story was neat and I hope that all local police departments are using social media in this manner. Why not? Get the word out and interact with the community when you need some help.

And that’s exactly what the Oakland Police Department is doing. This article starts with the story of officer Anthony Toribio responding to a shooting at a McDonald’s. Instead of rushing to his squad car (are they still called that?), he got on Twitter and tweeted out the descriptions of the suspects.

Not long after that, a woman responded that the Infiniti sedan that fled the McDonald’s was across the street. The police zoomed in and arrested the men.

“We would have broadcast this out to the patrol officers working the street,” Toribio said. “It may have been days, if not weeks, if ever, before it got out to the community.”

It only makes perfect sense that police use social platforms in this manner. Don’t work hard; work smart.

“It gives us something … more than we see on TV,” said Nancy Kolb, a senior program manager with the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “It is a nice way to give a full picture of everything it is that law enforcement does. We see law enforcement sharing stories that would never get shared in traditional media.”