Monday, February 19, 2018

The Troy Police Department's Twitter account is straight fire

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 4:38 PM

click to enlarge Troy police officers cozy up  to Santa Claus in a photo posted to the department's Twitter account. - TROY POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Troy Police Department
  • Troy police officers cozy up to Santa Claus in a photo posted to the department's Twitter account.

The city of Troy is known for a lot of things — McMansions, good schools, an upscale mall — but having a chill police force hasn't historically been one of them. Now, that's starting to change, thanks to the Troy PD's deft use of social media.

If you're not one of the more than 3,500 people following the Troy police account, here's a sampling of some of its humorous content:

Behind the account is not a millennial, but a meme-savvy 40-year-old who believes a little bit of ingenuity online can go a long way in helping improve the relationship between citizens and police.

"Our whole goal is to let people know we're human," Sergeant Meghan Lehman, who heads up the department's community services division, says. "We were always known for our traffic enforcement, so that kind of says a lot, because people will get a traffic ticket and that negative experience leaves a long lasting impression, so this is kind of a good way to show our other side, which we don't often have the opportunity to do."

That "other side" includes the more mundane, community-oriented services that go along with policing one of Michigan's safest suburbs. It also apparently includes an affinity for stuffed animals and — no surprise here — donuts.

The department also makes statements that suggest it stands in solidarity with the #MeToo movement. When asked if she feels such posts are a little political, Lehman says flatly, "Sexual assault is not a political thing, it's illegal and it's wrong, and us saying it’s bad is not political."

Lehman, who has been with Troy police since 2004, says the department "started pushing it a little bit" on social media last year. The change in tone came amid renewed focus on community policing following high-profile police killings of unarmed black men across the country.

"This is the way community engagement is going now," Lehman says. "People will sometimes say 'shouldn’t you be out arresting people?' But we need to also humanize ourselves and get prevention and education messages out there, it makes our job easier, it makes the community safer, it makes people happier to live in Troy."

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