NYPD Gets Training on How to Gain Followers and Influence on Twitter

The NYPD is still figuring out what to do with social media, but these classes should help.

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For a department that's still trying to figure out how to recover from the #MyNYPD debacle, the New York Police Department should be commended on their perseverance to learn the Twitterverse — and now they're doing it in the classroom with course materials and everything.

The New York Post got its hands on the NYPD's new social media handbook which, among other things, coaches officers to use humor to gain followers and interest.

“Tasteful humor is good,” it says.

It goes on to offer tips on how to make people LOL in 140 characters or less, citing real tweets from San Francisco cops as examples.

One reads: “Officers just arrested a naked man in the bison paddock in GG [Golden Gate] Park. The bison seemed unimpressed.”

By contrast, it tells cops not to post boring, jargon-filled tweets, such as, “Officers responded to an apartment on the 2500 block of Turk St. regarding a burglary.”

Top brass is expected to tweet at least four time a day — and not everybody is happy about the additional requirements. “It’s a lot more work … Now I have to worry about social media on top of everything else I have to do,” one police source told the Post.

If they can get it right, police departments report that social media definitely helps them in their work and in building good relations with their community.

A 2013 social media survey from the International Association of Chiefs of Police found that 96 percent of police departments use social media in some capacity, 80 percent say it has helped them solve crimes, and 73 percent of agencies said it helped improve police-community relationships in their jurisdiction.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.