“I'll get this tweeting thing down eventually. #lemit training” —Posted during recent Texas Police Chiefs Leadership Series (TPCLS) training in San Marcos, this Tweet sums up the Chief’s honesty about being a novice on Twitter and his eagerness to learn the social media platform that will allow him to regularly connect with the citizens of San Angelo on a more personal level.
The importance of social media use in law enforcement was among the topics of the weeklong TPCLS Training that hosted an audience of Texas police chiefs.
Tweeting under the name of “@ChiefTimVasquez.”, the Twitter newbie already has over 65 followers, but the number is expected to grow rapidly.
“The Department has been using social media since 2009, and we are doing a great job with it, but the interaction with the public has only been on behalf of the agency. I wanted to be able to participate in that interaction. I wanted to be more accessible. To do that, I had to go where the conversation is taking place, and that’s on Twitter”, Vasquez said. “I hope to create a relationship of open communication and dialogue with their Chief. I work for this community. I also want to keep a constant line of information going out to our citizens through all available media outlets.”
Although San Angelo Police have been using Twitter to engage the public since June 2009, Chief Vasquez made the decision to come onboard recently after recognizing that citizens should have another go-to for police questions, concerns and interaction. The official San Angelo Police Department Twitter account (@SanAngeloPolice) now has more than 2,520 followers and the Department’s Facebook page (facebook.com/SanAngeloPoliceDepartment) currently has more than 11,000 fans and has an average reach of 25,000 people a week. Both outlets have information on recent news releases, surveillance videos of suspects, department events, road closures, emergency information, severe weather alerts, along with other programs and services offered by the department.