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Palo Alto police to host Twitter 'virtual ride-along'

Original post made on Nov 8, 2012

For anyone who has ever wondered what a day (or night) in the life of a police officer is like, the Palo Alto Police Department will give the public the chance to find out – via Twitter – Friday, Nov. 9, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, November 8, 2012, 6:05 PM

Comments (6)

Posted by Sweet-Tweets-From-The-PAPD, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm

This makes sense. It's a bit of a wonder why it's taken them this long to give this sort of outreach a go.

Given how many times a poster who goes by the handle "Phil from North Palo Alto" has opined that the police could not possible do one thing more because they are so overworked, and underfunded..this exercise will demonstrate that the cost of using Twitter is free, and all these folks have to do is pay attention to their Twitter account, and answer the questions. This is a no-brainer with no expense (other than possibly some overtime for the Public Affairs Officer).


Couldn't hurt if the archive this (and any future) "virtual ridealongs" on the police web-site, too.

By the way, could someone from the Police Department comment on if the officers will be using cellphones, or if the cruisers now have Internet via some other communications protocols?

This a very low-cost way to help educate the public about what goes on out on the street in Palo Alto. Looking forward to the event.


Posted by Ducatigirl, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Ducatigirl is a registered user.

Sounds like a great idea. People can really get a clue from a day in the life of PAPD.

Realistically, though, how much time would a virtual ride-along consume? Can the ride be terminated at any point?


Posted by Feels Safe, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I can see the tweets now
"Officer Smith is reaching for the glazed, no he's going for the jelly filled, this is getting ugly. Call for backup"

I kid, this sounds like a great idea. Just hope it's not a slow day.


Posted by chini, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm

This may be a good way to promote Twitter or other such businesses, none of which care much about a person's privacy and requires signup.

If the goal is to provide insights, why not post videos on the city's website, along with police blotter? Using social sites may be fashionable but it might not address the goal either. I won't be able or it might be tedious to search the twitter logs later if I'm unable to join.


Posted by non twitterer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2012 at 7:29 pm

You don't have to join twitter to listen in. Here's a link to just get the tweets without being able to respond. Web Link


Posted by chini, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 10, 2012 at 8:09 am

Thanks for the link to query the posts!

However, I generally don't trust the source of twitter posts as much as I would the posts on official websites, which can be verified by looking at the URL. And such posted content on websites can be made available a month later or a year later as one chooses instead of being limited by a search query that brings all relevant and non-relevant recent posts.


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