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Crime / Public safety / Social media

Follow these 36 Philly cops on Twitter

Since April 2011, when the PPD formalized its social media policy, the PPD has required officers to get departmental approval if they want to use their official title on Twitter. The PPD offers training for officers new to Twitter, said Sgt. Eric Gripp, the department's new social and digital media manager.

Detective Joseph Murray of the Southwest Detectives Division was one of the first cops to use Twitter to interact with residents. (Photo by Tom Gralish for the Philadelphia Inquirer)

Just over a year ago, Detective Joseph Murray was something of a rarity as one of the few cops (publicly, at least) on Twitter.

Now it’s more and more common. Just last week, Murray introduced his more than 2,600 followers to two newly minted tweeting cops: Detective Paul Guercio and high-ranking Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan.

There are more than 30 cops listed on the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD)‘s official Twitter list, though, with more than 7,000 PPD staffers, that’s hardly scratching the surface. Since April 2011, when the PPD formalized its social media policy, the PPD has required officers to get departmental approval if they want to use their official title on Twitter. The PPD offers training for officers new to Twitter, said Sgt. Eric Gripp, the department’s new social and digital media manager.

Despite the uptick in tweeting cops, the PPD hasn’t specifically encouraged it, said Frank Domizio, who became the PPD’s first social and digital media manager in early 2012 and was recently reassigned.

“I think more people are starting to see the value in it and signing up,” Domizio wrote in an email.

Why does it matter that a couple dozen cops are on Twitter? It gives a human face to a department that hasn’t always had the best reputation, and that translates to more trust, more dialogue, more crime tips. (Last year, much was made of an effort in Seattle to distribute crime news in hyperlocal police Twitter accounts.)

“You almost feel like the guy has your back, the way he talks online,” said one West Philadelphian about Murray, the tweeting detective, in an Inquirer story.

As for Murray, he said he’s happy the PPD has allowed officers to tweet freely and be themselves.

“It takes a lot of trust to give that power to us,” he wrote in an email. “As we get more and more cops on social media, I think we will see more crimes solved, more tips received and a happier public.”

Below, we list the local cops on Twitter in numerical order by district. They come from various districts and divisions and rankings, though there are  six cops from the PPD’s Public Affairs division.

Find the PPD’s official Twitter list here.

  • Officer Mike Duffy, 3rd District (South Philly East):  @PPDMikeDuffy
  • Commanding Officer Brian Korn, 6th District (Center City East): @PPDBrianKorn
  • Sgt. Timothy Devlin, 6th District (Center City East): @PPDTimDevlin
  • Commanding Officer Frank Banford, 9th District (Center City West): @PPDFrankBanford
  • Sgt. Robert Ryan, 12th District (Center City West): @PPDRobertRyan
  • Officer Brian Geer, 14th District (Southwest Philadelphia): @PPDBrianGeer
  • Officer Ta’Myra Cox, 17th District (Southwest Center City): @PPDTaMyraCox
  • Officer Tommy Harris, 17th District (Southwest Center City): @PPDTommyHarris
  • Lt. David Bonk, 18th District (University City, West Philadelphia): @PPDDaveBonk
  • Community Relations Officer Shanna Moore, 22nd District (North Philadelphia West): @PPDShannaMoore
  • Officer Joe Lukaitis, 39th District (Northwest Philadelphia): @PPDJoeLukaitis
  • Community Relations Officer Carol Keys, 39th District (Northwest Philadelphia): @PPDCarolKeys
  • Officer John Ross, Strategic Initiatives: @PPDJohnRoss
  • Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan, Homeland Security/Counter Terrorism: @PPDJoeSullivan
  • Officer Roderick Walton, works with CompStat (the Police Department’s accountability program) : @PPDrickwalton
  • Det. Paul Guercio, Central Detective Division: @PPDPaulGuercio
  • Det. Joseph Murray, Southwest Detective Division: @PPDJoeMurray
  • Det. Rich Antonini, Southwest Detective Division: @PPDRichAntonini 
  • Officer Elvira Cruz, Victim Services Unit: @PPDElviraCruz
  • Sgt. Matt Veasey, Advanced Training Unit: @PPDMattVeasey
  • Officer KimberlyAnne Martin, Traffic Unit, works with Recruitment Team: @PPDKimMartin
  • Sgt. Eric Gripp, Social and Digital Media Manager, Public Affairs:  @PPDEricGripp
  • Cpl. Frank Domizio, Philadelphia Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, former Social and Digital Media Manager: @PPDFrankDomizio
  • Commanding Officer John Stanford, Public Affairs: @PPDJohnStanford
  • Officer Tanya Little, Public Affairs: @PPDTanyaLittle
  • Officer Jillian Russell, Public Affairs: @PPDJillRussell
  • Officer Christine O’Brien, Public Affairs: @PPDChrisyOBrien
  • Officer Gary Mercante, Public Affairs: @PPDGaryMercante
  • Denise James, Director of Strategic Communications: @PPDDeniseJames
  • Staff Inspector Daniel McDonald, Standards and Accountability Division: @PPDDanMacDonald
  • Staff Inspector Joel Dales, Internal Affairs Division: @PPDJoelDales
  • Inspector and Commanding Officer Tony Washington, South Police Division: @ppdtonywash
  • Officer Joe Luce, Highway Patrol: @PPDJoeLuce
  • Capt. Alan Clark, Center City District: @PPDAlanClark
  • Officer Edward Fidler, Crime Scene Investigation: @PPDCrimeScene
  • Thomas J. Nestel, SEPTA Police Chief: @TNestel3
Companies: Philadelphia Police Department
People: Eric Gripp / Joseph Murray

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