The San Ramon Police Department has entered the world of social media, establishing Facebook and Twitter accounts aiming to increase engagement with the San Ramon community.
"Social media is headed toward being the primary way people gather information and find out what is going on in and around their community," said Lt. Denton Carlson, who manages the official SRPD accounts.
"Our goal is to provide people with information on crime trends, tips on crime prevention, notifications regarding potentially hazardous situations, traffic alerts and any other situation involving police activity where it would be advantageous for the public to be informed," he added.
The San Ramon Police Department's Facebook page, unveiled Aug. 5, has received 838 likes to date. The department's Twitter account -- @sanramonpolice -- has sent out 36 tweets and garnered 279 followers since activating Aug. 11.
While a primary focus of the social media campaign is providing key information to the public in real time, the department also hopes to use its accounts to introduce San Ramon residents to the "human side" of the officers who serve them, Carlson said.
"Too often, officers are looked at as someone in uniform and not much else," he said. "On a regular basis, our personnel are out in the community providing services that go above and beyond what is required. We want the people who live and work in San Ramon to know they have the best officers who are dedicated to serving their community at the highest level."
Police officials have communicated with San Ramon residents through the Nextdoor social network for about a year, and the department plans to implement an emergency notification system through Nixle, the lieutenant said.
"The use of Nixle's service will give us the ability to send text message-style notifications to anyone who has registered in our system," he explained. "These notifications will be utilized to keep the public informed during critical incidents, natural disasters or any type of significant event where public assistance is needed."