By Sharieka Breeden
June 2, 2014
Local law-enforcement agencies will participate in a global Tweet-A-Thon today where followers can experience a virtual ride-along on the social media outlet Twitter.
The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, Greenville Police Department, East Carolina University police, Newport police and Farmville police are participating in the campaign, which started in March.
Local tweet-alongs will begin at 9 a.m. and continue through different departments until 3 p.m.
Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Christy Wallace said agencies will tweet the day’s events, happenings from the Pitt County Detention Center and tips to prevent crime.
“We are an agency that service the citizens of this county,” Wallace said. “We encourage them to know what we do on a daily basis. However, it is impossible for over 100,000 people to do a ride along. The tweet-along is a creative way to allow everyone to experience the day in the life of law enforcement. It also highlights our social media outreach, which often shares important crime and public safety information and critical information in an emergency.”
Wallace said that the sheriff’s office received great responses from a tweet-along featuring efforts to make contact with non-custodial parents in June.
“We even had retweets as far away as the UK,” Wallace said. “This sparked enormous enthusiasm within our agency and throughout the twitter community.”
For Sheriff Neil Elks, the technology helps to enhance the efforts made by officials. “This is a way to fight crime 140 characters at a time,” Elks said.
After the first tweet-a-long, Wallace said that the sheriff’s office became connected with agencies across the nation.
“Our agency is blessed to have a leader who brings encouragement to our ideas,” Wallace said. “He knows that staying up to date helps to involve the community and is the most innovative and effective means to fight crimes.”
Followers are encouraged to retweet and comment on arrests and law-enforcement action throughout the day.
“We don’t know what the ride along has in store, but often, good crime prevention or personal safety reminders come from calls for service so we’re going to share those with anyone who wants to follow along,” Elks said.