If you’re a tweep – the Chief wants to talk to you – if you’re a creep – he can arrange to have you arrested.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  April 15, 2013  The people who count these things say that 66% if Canadians actively use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

 If you want to impress your friends –make the Halton Regional Police Service “Chief” a friend and then tweet with him.  Police services worldwide – and, by extension, many police chiefs – are proactively using various social media platforms as a new method to actively engage the public in crime prevention and policing.

Halton’s Chief Steve Tanner, has a degree in psychology and is usually abreast of the changes in the way the public thinks.  Many police types don’t trust social media but Tanner has decided to jump in and see how it can be made to work for his police service.  He can be read on Twitter at:  @ChiefTanner.

Halton Regional Police Services Chief Tanner wants to tweet with you.

“I am a self-admitted newbie to Twitter, but see its tremendous potential to enhance my connection with people who live and work in Halton, and across Ontario and beyond, so that we can engage in meaningful dialogue about public safety, crime prevention and community policing issues,”  said Chief Tanner, adding, “Through shared tweets, I am also looking forward to being able to put a human face on the Chief of Police title, and get to know active Twitter users in our community in return.”

Chief Tanner’s presence on Twitter compliments the official @HaltonPolice Twitter account, so that the public can have quick and easy access to the latest Halton police news, crime prevention information and safety tips, and receive answers to any general questions about policing in Halton that they may have.

Chief Tanner emphasized that neither his account, @ChiefTanner, nor the official Service account @HaltonPolice, are monitored 24/7, which is an important factor the public needs to keep in mind if following them on Twitter.

“For emergencies or crimes in progress, the public should still call 9-1-1 and to report non-emergencies, call 905-825-4777,” said Chief Tanner. “Twitter is not a crime reporting tool.  The public can report certain types of crime online at our website, www.haltonpolice.ca, but when in doubt, call us.”

Chief Tanner and the Halton Regional Police Service are focused on building the Service’s base of local Twitter followers who reside or do business within Halton Hills, Milton, Burlington, and Oakville, and encourages local Tweeps to follow or add the service to one of their public safety lists.

“Certainly everyone is invited and welcome to follow me or the Service on Twitter, but my priority is engaging with the local community first and foremost, so please be sure to follow us and say hello,” said Chief Tanner.

To connect with the Halton Regional Police Service, follow @HaltonPolice on Twitter and to connect with Chief Tanner follow @ChiefTanner. 

To follow Our Burlington – check out our Facebook page and tweet what we produce to people you think might be interested.

Couple of questions to the Chief:  Is the tweet I get from you – tell you anything about me.

Does my being your friend on Facebook compromise my identity in any way?  will I be dropped into a data base somewhere?

The Halton Police recently put up a map that will tell you where crimes take place in the Region.  That crime data does not belong to the police – it gets given to the people who provided the service to the police.  They don’t tell you that when you use the service.

The city of Hamilton took exception to their police service using those crime maps – not a word of comment or dissent from Burlington’s member of the Police Service Board.  why not?

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