As Facebook turns 10-years-old, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on how social media affects our daily lives. Originally more of a novelty, social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives, including for those of us in law enforcement.
I was recently approached by the our Public Affairs department and asked if I’d be interested in being one of two officers to tweet out from my very own work Twitter account. The Saskatoon Police Service has been on Twitter (@SaskatoonPolice) and Facebook for a few years now. Kelsie Fraser, our social media specialist, has brilliantly managed both those mediums into successful and innovative conduits of communication with the people we serve. More recently, we’ve added Instagram and YouTube to our social media repertoire.
I went live on Twitter on January 31st. Cst. Derek Chesney (@SPSDerekChesney), one of our downtown beat officers, beat me to it by a couple of days. I was thrilled at how quickly people took to the concept. I believe there is a real willingness amongst our citizens to better understand what their police officers do. From my perspective, I think the more people who understand the complexities of my job, the easier it becomes.
Social media has already assisted with investigations and gives us, as a police service, a means of communicating directly and quickly with the community.
I’ll do my best to share various aspects of the job a patrol sergeant does, while also highlighting the remarkable work our front line constables do. I look forward to interaction with our community followers and am always willing to answer questions.
You can find me on Twitter at @SPSPatBarbar. Don’t be afraid to say hello!
Sergeant Patrick Barbar