On the Police 'Tweet'

Stonington police are now tweeting.

Expanding on their popular e-mail notification system, in which large numbers of businesses and residents receive emergency alerts and other information from the department, police have now begun sending out information via Twitter.

Capt. Jerry Desmond, who heads up the department's community information efforts, said the department began looking at new ways to use social media to even better communicate with residents

"Our thought was that if we want to get information out quicker in addition to e-mail we could use Twitter," he said, adding that area departments such as Ledyard and New London already use the social media site.

"We have stayed away from social media until now but going into the future it's something we have to get involved with," he said.

Looking into the future, Desmond said that even more people will have smart phones and will be accessing Twitter in addition to e-mail.

He said the police department is already following agencies such as the state Department of Transportation, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security and will forward them to the department's followers when it feels the information is relevant.

"We're always looking for new ways to get information out to the public," Desmond said, adding that the department will publicize its use Twitter so it can increase its number of followers.

He said the department will continue to use its e-mail alert system because not everyone is comfortable using Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

Those who want to follow police on Twitter first have to sign up for an account if they don't yet have one. If they would like to receive tweets from the department on their cellphone they should input that number into their account and then go to the department's Twitter page, click the icon in the upper right hand corner that shows a person's head and select turn on mobile notifications.



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