After much deliberation and training, the Plano Police Department is the latest of local law enforcement agencies in DFW to launch into social media.
“We’ve been looking at getting a Facebook page for about a year,” said public information officer David Tilley.
“It can be dangerous if you don’t use it properly,” Tilley added, noting that like any other new tool, department leaders wanted to make sure the page was properly managed.
The site launched this September.
Postings on the site will feature tips from Crime Stoppers, traffic advisories, as well as postings every Friday about DWI enforcement patrols in the city.
Officer Tilley will manage the page himself, saying its settings will allow followers to “like” and comment on postings, but not post freely on the PD’s timeline.
“We’re going to make small steps,” he said. “We’re going to make this first break into Facebook and kind of gauge our need for Twitter.”
The social media expansion is part of a greater push into the digital age.
The department also recently launched TIP411, a service allowing citizens to send anonymous text or email messages (on a cell phone, to the number 847-111, or TIP411) with information about a crime or suspicious act.
That information is immediately relayed to dispatch and officers.
“We’re going to reach, you might say, a different group of people,” said Tilley.
Plano citizens, like Michael Eyman, said they’ve seen other cities, like Arlington, popularize the “tweetalong” and other implementation of social media.
Eyman says he has been waiting for Plano to do the same.
“I’d like them on Facebook,” he said.
Tilley emphasizes the new social media page and text program are not substitutes for calling 911 in an emergency.