Civic News
Crime / Social media

10 ways New Castle County PD is using Facebook to show another side of police

The department has a following of nearly 30,000 on the social media platform. Here's a look at the fun (and practical) stuff it uses Facebook for.

The New Castle County Police Department (Screenshot)

When the New Castle County Police Department decided to take a swing at social media, it never imagined it would have such an impact on how it communicates with the people it serves.
Department spokeswoman Cpl. Tracey Duffy said social media has been a major asset when it comes to delivering news and updates to the community.
“These tools allow the department to communicate with the community a lot faster than in the past,” she explained.  “A message from the Colonel or an alert can be sent in a matter of minutes and reach a larger audience than traditional mainstream media.”
Local residents seem to be tuning in to the behind-the-scenes look at the department social media gives them on Facebook.
Visit the Facebook page

A Facebook Live video, taken during a press conference, has received nearly 10,000 views since being posted March 7.

The Police Department also uses Facebook as a way to show a human face and create rapport with residents:

"Wipers on...headlights on"


And to find leads on cases:

"Can you ID this Newark bank robbery suspect? Please contact Newark PD."


And to help with recruiting (and duh, share #tbt’s):

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 9.40.33 AM


And to solicit confidential tips:

"Send us a crime tip using this form"


And to share safety information with a little bit of fun (bet Marlon Brando never thought he’d earn a New Castle County PD badge):

"Winter Storm STELLLAAA!!!"


And to get props:

" would like to say thank you to the officer that pulled over a car that nearly caused a big accident."


But also complaints:

"my mom has called in the past two morning with someone trying to break into our home, instead of sending a cop out to maybe finger print the door that was being pulled on by the person, the cop then asks my mom if me or her boyfriend are on drugs. "


And to respond immediately to questions:

"Does de plan on making it a state of emergency?"


And to show that cops know how to cook healthy, too.

(This is a photo from an Facebook album about an event called “Cooking with Cops,” where New Castle County police did a healthy cooking class with William Penn students.)

cooking w cops

(Photo via Facebook)

According to Duffy, the department hoped to be use social media to be more transparent and provide information quickly and accurately.
“We initially wanted to create a strong social media presence and we believe we have done this,” she said.
The department has been using traditional social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, since early 2010. The department Facebook page currently has 29,325 likes and the Twitter account has 3,235 followers.
Duffy is aware that these followers come from several states and cities, and are not solely New Castle County residents. In late 2016, the department started using community platform Nextdoor in order to connect with New Castle County residents directly. More than 26,000 county residents are using this platform.
Duffy said the Police Department will continue to find new and fresh ways to increase its online presence.
“We are always searching for new and innovative means to communicate with our communities,” she said.  “As social media platforms pop up, we will research them and determine if they will meet the needs of both the department and our communities.”

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