By on August 23, 2017

Lititz PD’s initial five-hour ‘Tweet-Along’ received 10 times the activity of average 24-hour period

Lititz Police officers Tuesday night opened their personal workshops for Twitter users to follow and comment on their movements in real time.

Sgt. Stephen Detz expected some road bumps during the department’s first interactive, virtual ride-along from 7 p.m.-midnight.

However, things went better than expected, he said.

“We’re very happy with the response,” he said. “In only a few hours, we received 10 times the normal number of impressions we get in an entire day.”

In the five-hour period, Lititz PD posted 25 tweets that ranged from describing mundane tasks such as an early shift change and a coffee run to attempts to pick up residents facing multiple warrants.

There was a trip to Warwick Middle School to assist in the seventh-grade orientation of the new students entering the campus. Earlier in the day, a Twitter post pictured Det. John Scofield talking to the “Warriors (athletes) about making good choices and representing Warwick.”

By all accounts, it appeared to be a slow evening with a few traffic stops including a burned out headlight during a rainstorm and a driver pulled over for stalling to text at a stop sign to text. She was “advised of appropriate locations to text.”

Police arrested a man on suspicion of domestic abuse following a 911 call from a woman who locked herself in her bedroom for protection.

Lititz PD posted pictures during the night of those wanted with outstanding warrants and domestic abuse suspect sitting in a cell. The caption beneath the next Tweet of a photo of police in the station read: “By law we’re allowed to hold someone for up to 6 hours — paperwork takes a while but luckily not that long.”

Other photos posts were on the lighter side such as one at 8:03: “Current status: jamming to @SamHuntMusic on @FM97 while on patrol.”

The 25 tweets yielded 20,000 impressions, up from 2,000 on a typical day, Detz said.

“We’re pretty happy with those numbers especially on our first effort doing this,” Detz said.

Lititz PD’s Twitter page isn’t entirely devoted to gloom, mugshots, and misery as one might expect. It often retweets humorous posts from other police stations such as one from a Minnesota PD Tweet from April 20, known as 420, code for a time to smoke cannabis.

Posting under the #Happy420 hashtag was a photo of capture net wielding police officer hiding behind a trap stash of munchies with the caption: “Undercover #420 operations are in place. Discreet traps have been set up throughout the city today. #Happy420.”

Police late Tuesday discovered someone had put a “Danger: Confined Space” sign in a sewer grate which prompted this Lititz PD response “At W. 6th & General Sutter — looks like someone must be excited about @ITMovieOfficial “ — referring to the Sept. 8 opening of Stephen King’s new movie “IT” including a link to the movie’s official Twitter page.

Detz said Lititz Police would continue to use any avenues available to better converse with and involve more among residents.

“We had a lot of fun with some of the commentary that was going on and overall I think it went very well,” Detz said. “I think the Tweet-Along help the community engage us by seeing that we’re actually trying to engage them.”

He hopes that this idea will spread among other police forces in the county.

“Most people are on social media and we should be on there too,” Detz said.

Patrick Burns is social media editor and a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

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