Police Scanners & Twitter: Makes Sense, Right?

After reading an article about a Venice-based (California) Twitter account that live-tweets crime, accidents, fires, etc., I will admit, my curiosity was piqued.  It turns out there are plenty of accounts playing similar roles. The account mentioned is @Venice311. Over 23,000 tweets, with over 8,000 followers. Here’s a good tweet from yesterday:

In the age of accountability, these live-tweeters are doing some good for the community (list at end of article). They are making the community more aware of the crime in their neighborhood. They are making sure the forces in charge do their job and don’t overdo it – police brutality, etc. And who knows? Maybe some crimes can be prevented or solved this way. Maybe a missing person is a little bit more likely to be found.

The city of Seattle even attempted an experiment in which their Police Department tweeted every one of their 911 calls in one day, in 140 characters, of course. They sent an average of 40 tweets per hour, totaling 478 by day’s end. An interesting social media experiment, especially considering the Department did not inform their followers of what they were doing. Some were worried. And some wanted them to shut up. The gem was a “suspicious person possibly armed with a sword.”

If you feel like getting in on the action, you can download several police scanner apps. I splurged and purchased the $0.99 5-0 Radio Police Scanner. The Lite version is available for free. Pretty fun to listen in – so far, I’ve heard a few accidents, a bomb threat, a loose dog, expired tags, a parking ticket, a burglary, and a fire in metro Atlanta.

  • @Venice311 (Venice/LA)
  • @NYRadio (NYC)
  • @LAPDscanner (LA)
  • @ScannerFeeds (collective)
  • @DFWScanner (Dallas/Ft. Worth)
  • @SeattlePD (Seattle)

BONUS:

@sheboyganscan – As in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, here are some gems from their feed. Follow them for humorous crimes.


@BCulture_Matt

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