Dover PD Starts Facebook and Twitter Accounts - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover PD Starts Facebook and Twitter Accounts

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The Dover Police Department wants to be your friend, and officers want you to follow them.  

Just this week Dover police started both Facebook and Twitter accounts. The first post was Monday afternoon.

It's a tool new for this department but definitely not for law enforcement in general.
Cpl. Mark Hoffman is the man behind Dover PD's new pages. He'd seen how other departments were using social media and thought his should use it, too.

"I talked to my executive staff about the issue," he said. "How it benefits the police department, even showed them how it could save us some money."

He says it's all about connecting with the public.

"They can get updates to their computers, to their mobile devices and have it right in the palm of their hands within minutes of a crime actually occurring," said Cpl. Hoffman. "Any emergency information that needs to get out to the public right away - It enables us to go right to them rather than through a third party."

Delaware State Police started using social media back in 2011 and found it to be a huge help during Hurricane Irene.

"We put out real time information to people," said Cpl. Gary Fournier. "Flooding information, road closures, weather information, everything they needed to keep abreast of the situation that was taking place."

So, DSP has had a social media presence for two years. Other agencies have been on even longer. It begs question what took a department the size of Dover so long?

Cpl. Hoffman says sometimes police agencies can be wary of change.

"As it grew and people realized it's not going anywhere, social media is here to stay, other departments started to adopt and use it and had great success with it and still are to this day. So, it's time for us to jump on board, get with the times and connect with our citizens in that way, as well."

Even though Dover PD just started its own pages, Cpl. Hoffman says officers have been using social media for a long time to help protect the public. He says they often get tips about issues via social media or about something on social media.

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