Lieutenant Timothy Torchia, Officer Phil Jackson and Chief Steven Peters of the Ocean Township Police Department have planned a virtual ride-along on Twitter next week (Wednesday, Nov. 26).  This is the first Tweetalong for Monmouth County law enforcement.

Lieutenant Timothy Torchia, Officer Phil Jackson and Chief Steven Peters of the Ocean Township Police Department have planned a virtual ride-along on Twitter Wednesday, Nov. 26, from 11 am to 7 pm. This is the first-ever Tweetalong for Monmouth County law enforcement and part of the department’s broader communications program.  Follow the OTPD on Twitter by clicking here.

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Ever wonder what it is like to be an area police officer?  Wednesday (Nov. 26), the Ocean Township Police Department will offer an unprecedented look at a day in the life of an officer thanks to the first-ever Tweetalong by Monmouth County law enforcement.

“We are committed to giving our community the best service possible and our social media communications program is a part of that,” said Chief Steven Peters.  “This, our first Tweetalong, will help educate the community about what we do every day.”

For eight hours Wednesday (11 am to 7 pm), Social Media Officer Lieutenant Timothy Torchia will shadow Officer Phil Jackson, a five year veteran of the department.  Torchia will chronicle in real time on Twitter, in 140 characters or less with images, one of the most busy traffic days of the year for the department.

“This will be a virtual ride-along and communicate everything from the mundane to the serious over the course of a police shift,” said Torchia.  “From the initial inspection of the vehicle to calls for service to ultimately dealing with the kickoff of the holiday season, the Tweetalong will show what we do and how we do it.”

The Twitter event will also be interactive.  Followers of @OceanTwpPolice will have the opportunity to tweet general questions about the department and its work.

This Tweetalong, the first of its kind for Monmouth County law enforcement, is just one component of Chief Peters’ “modern community policing” strategy.  The department implemented its social media communications program last year on Twitter and continues to expand to new platforms, including Facebook.  Nixle, a police-to-resident text and email alert system, was implemented in 2012.

Generally, followers of @OceanTwpPolice receive traffic updates, public works information, locally-focused safety tips and community updates.  Some of the most popular Tweets include real time images of road conditions during extreme weather.  Since the communication program’s inception, social media followers have helped the department identify and locate multiple criminals thanks to digital wanted posters.

The department’s Twitter feed is considered the most comprehensive and immediate resource for area residents.

“The response to the department’s social media program has been phenomenal – we are reaching all generations of our community,” said Chief Peters.  “We are always on the lookout for technology innovation to better serve and lead in community outreach and policing.”

Body cameras are one of many technology trends being implemented in law enforcement around the country with great impact and results, according to Peters.

“We want residents to connect with us, see what we are doing and know we are here to help them,” said Peters.

Follow the Tweetalong on Wednesday (Nov. 26), 11 am to 7 pm, from your computer or smartphone at Twitter.com/OceanTwpPolice and by using the hashtag “twtOTPD.”  Twitter is free and reading tweets requires no registration.  Tweets from the department’s Tweetalong will be stacked on the @OceanTwpPolice feed and available for review after the live event as well.  Like the department on Facebook.  

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Coaster cover Nov. 20, 2014.  Subscribe to the area's only award-winning weekly.

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