MPD Joins Twitter

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

The Meridian Police Department has joined the likes of celebrities and ordinary citizens by entering the world of Twitter, the social networking site that asks the simple question, 'What are you doing?'

The MPD is using it to communicate with residents instantly. For example, if you are already following MeridianPD on Twitter you would have known to expect a delay on the frontage roads by the interstate due to an accident on the Texas turnaround.

"We put the information in there, and then if you signed up for that Twitter account, the information gets to your cell phone. We timed it between 5 and eleven seconds," said Capt. Dean Harper.

For Harper the benefit is that you don't have to be in front of a computer to send or receive messages. If you choose to do so, you can have the departments tweets sent directly to your cell phone as a text message or text the department back with breaking information. Officials say they hope that would have been the case Thursday during a convenience store robbery.

If there were over 400 people signed up for Twitter Thursday, then all 400 would have known that D & N Curb Store was robbed and they would have had the suspect's description.

And from there, Harper said he believes having that information will lead to many residents turning in valuable tips that could lead to arrests. A

t a time when agencies across the country are experiencing budget cuts, this free service gives authorities more eyes around town.

"It is sort of like having 5,000 more police officers on the street," Harper said.

One of the first community situations where the department will be twittering will be the closing of the 22nd Avenue Bridge Monday. The department will send out a message reminding drivers that the bridge is closed between Front Street and A Street, and in the future let them know if any of the detour roads close.

If you are new to twitter, signing up is fairly straightforward, and if you get confused, a how-to video is available by clicking the Help icon.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Ellie Location: Meridian on Jun 29, 2009 at 01:23 PM
    What is the Meridian Police Department's twitter account so that I can follow it?
  • by NLECTC Location: MD on Jun 29, 2009 at 07:51 AM
    New tools are great as long as people use them and act on them. Nice way to not blow through your budget and in the future I see many more pd's incorporating online tools to help them do their job.
  • by James Location: Meridian on Jun 27, 2009 at 07:34 AM
    Twitter can used as a tool to help law enforcement just as easily as work against it. Imagine the criminals using twitter who will get up to the minute information about police activities and whereabouts. And just how easy will it be to misdirect the police or create diversions to get law enforcement officers out of the areas where criminals are operating? Just imagine the possibilities this will afford criminals on the streets.
  • by jr on Jun 26, 2009 at 04:56 PM
    For some reason I could not locate Meridian PD on twitter using their search. For those unable to locate them - here is their link.
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