EXCLUSIVE: The Officer Behind The Tweets: Upper Darby Police Department’s Social Media Manager Revealed
By Matt Rivers
UPPER DARBY, Pa., (CBS) — At times, it reads more like the social media account of a standup comic, than of a police department.
But one Upper Darby police officer is anonymously posting edgy content — and it’s becoming popular.
One twitter user wrote “I would love to meet the person behind the UD police twitter handle.”
In an exclusive interview, CBS 3’s Matt Rivers did just that, asking him about his unexpected digital success.
Lot of police departments use social media. Few, if any, use it like Upper Darby Police.
“Anybody can dish up vanilla, but we want to serve up rocky road,” said.
Take this for example. Describing a family dispute, he tweets:
Male threatens to kill brother in law then attacks him in front of police. Taken into custody. Thanksgiving dinner gonna be awkward probs.—
Upper Darby Police (@UDPolice) November 09, 2013
This is funny stuff, all from one mystery officer on a mission who wants to remain hidden behind his tweets.
“We want people to reach out to us, we want to be approachable.”
And he thinks social media is the way to do it.
The department’s biggest outreach so far has been its UD Hero campaign, and the premise is simple. Tweet the department about a good deed you did, using the hashtag #udhero then you get this t-shirt. Over 200 of them have been given out so far.
In the last month, they’ve also circulated information on an armed robbery suspect and asked for help on a vandalism case.
“We’ve gotten tons of tips off the site which really is what we’re looking for.”
Not everyone is on board, though. Some on Facebook say it’s a waste of time. Response?
“Not everyone is going to like what we say or do, and that’s ok, I’ve come to expect that over the years.”
But he hopes they’ll come around. His outspoken boss certainly has.
“I think it puts a human face on what we do day in and day out,” Supt. Michael Chitwood said.
One more tweet before we go. To a British breakdancer, he writes,
(Rivers:) “You going to start going to the comedy clubs, touring as a standup comic?
“I don’t think anybody wants that really.”
Ten thousand followers between Twitter and Facebook might suggest otherwise.