Humor Helps the Rochester, N.H., Police Engage with Residents on Facebook

By taking an approachable tone on the social platform, the department is working to involve the community and thereby get more tips on suspects.

by Liz Markhlevskaya, Foster's Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H. / January 18, 2017

(TNS) — While working to solve crime, Rochester Police Officer Geoff Moore is putting humor behind the badge.

As of beginning of the year, the four-year employee of the Rochester Police Department is the man behind the Rochester police Facebook page.

Many of the posts on the page include surveillance photos of suspects needing to be identified, or booking photos of those who are wanted on a warrant and cannot be located.

Moore said that incorporating humor into the police Facebook posts seems to be working. Since Jan. 1, the department's Facebook page had a post reach increase of more than 100,000, said Moore.

"The amount of support I have gotten is astronomical," said Moore. "People seem to love it."

He said he is trying to involve the community, and thereby get more tips on suspects, via a more approachable tone on Facebook.

"My approach has been lighthearted humor in hopes to engage the community," said Moore.

As part of his Facebook work, Moore also brought back the "most wanted fugitive" initiative to social media. As of this year, the Rochester police Facebook page features "Most Wanted Mondays," which shows a booking photo and description of a suspect who has an arrest warrant and who cannot be located by the police. He said the Police Department previously featured "Most Wanted Wednesdays," which was a successful program.

Many times, suspects featured on the police Facebook page are able to be identified within two hours, he said.

"It's a great way for officers to get that case taken care of," said Moore.

Moore said that typically, Facebook users don't have a problem with publicly commenting about the possible identity of a suspect in a surveillance photo posted by Rochester police. But when it comes to identifying the possible location of a wanted suspect, Facebook users tend to call the Rochester Crimeline or give tips through private Facebook messenger.

Moore is a patrol officer who has been working for Rochester police for the past four years. He said he wanted to take over the Facebook page this year to bring more personality to the department's social media presence.

Among the inspirations behind the humor of the Rochester police Facebook page is the page run by the Bangor, Maine, Police Department, said Moore.

"They're very clever and witty - I like to think I'm witty, which is probably the worst part," he joked.

©2017 the Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.