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Law Enforcement and social media

More law enforcement agencies are turning to social media to connect with and engage the communities they serve.

Posted: Aug 2, 2018 9:20 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The impact of police-involved shootings can go far beyond the communities where they happen and can lead to increased tension between the public and police. In an effort to break down barriers and interact with the public in a new way, law enforcement agencies in our area and across the country are turning to social media.
If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter in the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen the latest #LipSyncChallenge craze. The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office was one of hundreds of departments to create a light-hearted video for their social media followers. The response? According to Sheriff Kevin Torgerson, very positive.
Just in the last week and a half now, we've gained over 1,000 new people watching our page," he explains.
By stepping up their social media game, Sheriff Torgerson says they’ve been able to reach and connect with more people than ever before.

“Our overall motivation is to get them really good solid safety information, public safety information to help them with their daily lives; I hope people see it that way,” he adds. “As we go around and do the crazy things like milking cows or whatever on the other side of it we want to get them really good information."

Information like weather, traffic and safety alerts are now being posted to the department’s pages. On Wednesday for example, OCSD took to Twitter and Facebook to let their followers know 9-1-1 services were being interrupted. Torgerson tells us weekly posts that feature five individuals with active warrants get a lot of attention on social media. “Most Wanted Wednesday” videos lead to a spike in the number of tip calls and messages they receive.

Just over a year ago the Olmsted Co. Sheriff’s Office hired a Media Development Specialist who’s focus is to increase the department’s presence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Other departments like Kasson PD and the Minnesota State Patrol have started doing “virtual ride alongs” where they live-Tweet on patrol to give the public a better idea of the types of calls they go on any given night.

Being so accessible through social media has made it possible for the Olmsted Co. Sheriff’s Office to make new, important connections with citizens on, and offline.
"Even last night, I was out to eat with my uncle and you know you get those comments, we saw your video thanks for doing that so it's people again interacting not only on social media but now out in public they're seeing us as approachable and now there's a connection that maybe we didn't have before or a barrier that's now been broken down,” Torgerson explains.

The hope of local law enforcement officers is this online effort will change the way some view the police.
"We're normal folks, we have families with kids and dogs and cats and we just want to help our community in any way possible and if it means to put out some kind of light hearted video that people look at and go, "Wow that's pretty neat," then that's alright."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99134

Reported Deaths: 2089
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27728936
Ramsey11209325
Dakota7724127
Anoka6343138
Stearns411925
Washington395055
Scott266333
Olmsted254428
Nobles197916
St. Louis174742
Blue Earth17437
Wright17137
Clay145741
Carver14517
Rice13518
Mower13486
Sherburne118514
Kandiyohi10573
Winona92318
Lyon7384
Waseca7228
Benton5683
Crow Wing56318
Steele5602
Nicollet55317
Freeborn5484
Watonwan5354
Chisago5221
Todd5142
McLeod5032
Le Sueur4804
Beltrami4735
Otter Tail4734
Martin46211
Goodhue3929
Douglas3622
Pine3610
Itasca35616
Polk3344
Isanti3241
Becker2862
Carlton2861
Morrison2802
Dodge2680
Pipestone23910
Chippewa2331
Cottonwood2290
Meeker2142
Wabasha2080
Sibley2033
Yellow Medicine2003
Brown1992
Cass1884
Rock1841
Redwood1805
Murray1762
Mille Lacs1723
Renville1638
Jackson1541
Unassigned15453
Faribault1490
Swift1451
Houston1350
Fillmore1340
Kanabec1318
Hubbard1261
Roseau1250
Koochiching1234
Pennington1201
Lincoln1180
Stevens1071
Pope1000
Aitkin881
Big Stone830
Wadena730
Lac qui Parle721
Wilkin713
Grant644
Lake610
Norman580
Marshall531
Mahnomen491
Red Lake451
Traverse360
Clearwater320
Lake of the Woods241
Kittson120
Cook70

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 88834

Reported Deaths: 1349
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk16204264
Woodbury568268
Johnson520327
Black Hawk455992
Linn4199115
Story350717
Dubuque347443
Scott312829
Dallas286038
Pottawattamie222539
Buena Vista202612
Marshall180235
Sioux17533
Wapello134557
Webster132714
Plymouth119121
Clinton115222
Muscatine113856
Crawford11176
Cerro Gordo107622
Warren9726
Jasper88334
Des Moines8249
Marion7799
Henry7774
Tama75732
Carroll7115
Lee6667
Wright6031
Dickinson5546
Boone5328
Bremer5137
Washington49311
Delaware4663
Louisa43915
Mahaska43520
Lyon3904
Jackson3683
Floyd3575
Franklin35318
Clay3504
Winneshiek3468
Benton3441
Hamilton3373
Poweshiek3278
Winnebago32514
Hardin3111
Buchanan2991
Jones2953
Kossuth2900
Butler2802
Emmet27910
Shelby2781
Sac2750
Chickasaw2741
Clayton2713
Guthrie27110
Clarke2703
Harrison2705
Cherokee2692
Allamakee2656
Cedar2561
Madison2452
Fayette2402
Grundy2294
Iowa2291
Palo Alto2140
Page2080
Hancock2032
Mills2031
Humboldt1963
Calhoun1953
Mitchell1950
Howard1937
Cass1812
Osceola1810
Pocahontas1682
Monona1671
Monroe16311
Lucas1596
Union1463
Appanoose1443
Taylor1431
Jefferson1411
Ida1352
Davis1304
Fremont1250
Van Buren1221
Keokuk1201
Worth1100
Greene1090
Montgomery1005
Audubon911
Wayne893
Adair761
Decatur670
Ringgold532
Adams380
Unassigned40
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