The Hanover Park police department's embrace of social media has attracted the attention of an international initiative that encourages law enforcement to use platforms like Facebook to prevent and solve crime.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police has highlighted Hanover Park through its Center for Social Media. The Alexandria, Va.-based group included the department's social media accounts in a directory of featured agencies. And Lt. Andy Johnson has contributed a blog with tips on how to train officers to post fresh, convenient content for residents.
"I am ecstatic about it," Police Chief David Webb said.
Launched in January, the department's Facebook page has garnered more than 1,000 "likes." Police also have set up Twitter and YouTube accounts and a smartphone app that lets users submit crime tips. Residents also can sign up for Nixle to receive email or text message alerts about emergencies or missing people.
"We just want to give people options on what we're doing," Webb said.