With crime at an all-time low, the citizens of Seattle have little to fear... except maybe having their Twitter feed crowded by 911 tweets from the police department.
As part of a new initiative to show "what a day in the life of the department was really like," the Seattle police have begun broadcasting emergency dispatches via Twitter. Soon enough, followers received messages warning them of suspicious characters throughout the city, aggressive panhandlers, armed crazies and junkies. Evoking a similar reaction as decade-old police scanners, the 911 tweets have found fans and unamused citizens alike. Some found the project irritating and the information useless, while others lauded the proactive attitude of the police force.
After a full day of tweeting, Sgt. Sean Whitcomb of the Seattle police declared the initiative a success. In fact, inspired by their fellow enforcers, police departments around the country have began tweeting about local criminal activity. I am excited by the idea and welcome tweets as an alternative to intrusive security cameras.