It was really only a matter of time until law enforcement agencies decided to try social media. That day has finally come.
As we already know, and the police are quickly finding out, Twitter is one of the best tools on the web to send out a message, and possibly for it to go viral. Case in point: the Seattle Police Department (SPD) decided to start running a trial use of Twitter last week on December 1.
SPD dispatchers are tweeting out notices of stolen vehicles using the Twitter account @GetYourCarBack. The tweets are simple with all the necessary information.
An example tweet from the SPD's Twitter stream:
COLOR: SILVER YR: 1996 MAKE: MERCEDES MODEL:E-320 BODY: 4DR LIC:668TMY WA ***DO NOT MAKE CONTACT CALL 911***
The SPD hopes the Twitter initiative will be two fold: first, by tweeting out the information on missing vehicles, they hope the extra eyes on the street will help recover the vehicles faster. Second, the hope is that thieves might be more hesitant to steal vehicles in the Seattle area knowing the theft will be blasted on Twitter and that more than just the police will be looking for them.