Erie, Pa., Bureau of Police Joins Twitter to Keep Residents Informed about Investigations

Items recently posted on Twitter included links to Facebook posts containing information about, and photos of, suspects wanted in recent fraud and theft cases.

by Tim Hahn, Erie Times-News, Pa. / March 8, 2017

(TNS) — Erie, Pa., police have increased their presence on social media to better connect with the community they serve. 

The Erie Bureau of Police is now on Twitter, establishing and launching an account on Monday. The Twitter account joins the 173-member bureau's Facebook page, facebook.com/eriepolicedept, which was established in January 2014.

"Our goal is to reach more people who are currently using social media as their primary source of information," Police Chief Donald Dacus said Tuesday.

The bureau will use Twitter, as well as Facebook, to keep people informed about investigations as well as letting followers know more about the bureau, Dacus said. Items posted on Twitter Tuesday included links to Facebook posts containing information about, and photos of, suspects wanted in recent fraud and theft cases.

At the moment, members of the bureau's command staff are monitoring the Twitter and Facebook accounts, along with Erie police Detective Sgt. Chris Janus, whom Dacus said was instrumental in setting up both accounts.

Erie police have also revamped their pages on the city's website, www.erie.pa.us, to be "more user-friendly," Dacus said. The pages feature additional information about the bureau — including new hiring standards for those interested in becoming Erie police officers — as well as ways for the community to contact it. There are listings of names and contact information for commanders in the units in the bureau's Patrol Division and the names and contact information for most of the investigators in the Criminal Investigation Division, "to make it easier for victims of crime to make contact with a detective if they need to," he said.

The pages also feature a listing of, and information on, all of the bureau's community policing programs, such as the Police Athletic League and Project Safe Neighborhoods.

Erie police additionally added, under the "Contact Us" tab, places where a visitor can file a citizen complaint or give recognition to an officer. The complaints and recognition submissions go to every member of the command staff, not just one person, Dacus said.

"We've also added a 'submit a tip' that people can do online and that will be maintained," he said.

©2017 the Erie Times-News (Erie, Pa.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.