MPD no longer tweeting breaking crime, using AlertDC system instead (updated 5/31)

File photo

File photo

Update 5/31: MPD has reversed their decision and will continue to post breaking news on their @DCPoliceDept feed based on community feedback. 



According to a Washington Post article, MPD is no longer using their Twitter feed to share breaking news on crime occurring in the District. If you've followed @DCPoliceDept for information on shootings, robberies and other crime happening in the area, Chief Cathy Lanier wants you to register for AlertDC instead. Can't say I'm a fan of any police department finding ways to communicate less with residents who want to be informed and engaged.

It's now the only way to unofficially get your breaking crime news.

It's now the only way to unofficially get your breaking crime news.

The DC police department is still tweeting, just not about crime that's occurring right now. The AlertDC system offers useful info, but it can also be a firehouse of information. 

Gotta love that the DC Alerts is the "unofficial" twitterfeed of the "official" AlertDC system. Because it makes sense to have an "unofficial" source as the way to get breaking crime news from MPD.

From the Washington Post article:

For years, D.C. residents who wanted nearly instant reports about serious crimes in their neighborhoods could turn to the police department’s official Twitter account. Shootings, robberies and purse snatchings scrolled by.

The department has now decided to take most crime alerts off Twitter and instead will document mayhem primarily through an existing notification system run through a city Internet site. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and her top spokesman said the idea is to streamline the agency’s various social-media accounts and avoid duplication.

The AlertDC notification system is now the place to go for a list of crimes as they happen. Police will still tweet about high-profile cases, Lanier said, and the feed also will include information on wanted suspects, missing people and other department news.

“We’ve chosen which social media we use for which type of information,” Lanier said.

The change was evident on a recent Monday when five people were shot, eight people were robbed — three at gunpoint — and a woman held up a bank.

The more than 96,000 followers of the D.C. police Twitter account saw no reference to these crimes. The feed showed pictures of seized guns, an alert for a missing child, officers at community gatherings and an officer stopping traffic so a family of ducks could cross the street.

Breaking alerts on city crimes will continue to be posted through AlertDC, which has historically distributed such information and is run by the District’s homeland security agency. Residents can register and have information about shootings and robberies sent to their phones by text or email, along with announcements on street closures, water main breaks, power outages and severe weather threats.

Read the full article on Washington Post >

Drew Schneider

Local DC blogger in Petworth, Washington DC.

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