10. June 2014–
While Germany is often behind when it comes to the creative usage of new technology, it was the Berlin police who used Twitter to give insights to German followers for 24 hours. What seemed like an entertaining idea had a clear purpose: Draw in more applicants by giving the public a better look into what is like to be a part of the police force. Here is how it went.
The project started at 7pm on Friday (June 6th, 2014) and lasted until 7pm the next day. Berlin’s Police Department started to tweet almost all calls it received. The department later told VentureVillage that the 1,030 tweets that were sent by @PolizeiBerlin_E did not even cover all the calls.
The tweets were not only informative but, in many cases, very entertaining. The police used a charming tone to tweet about notifications such as the ones below using both hashtags 24hPolizei (24 hours police) and another one to mark the area where the incident took place:
“Bikers race through #Mitte. They were actually faster that us! #24hPolizei”
“Classical incident: Dog bit postman in #Spandau. He needs to see a doctor. Get well soon! #24hPolizei”
“Men in men residential accommodation fight over cleaning plan. #Reinikendorf #24hPolizei”
While Germans are known for not having much interest in Twitter, followers replied, favorited and retweeted the information they found interesting.
— PolizeiBerlinEinsatz (@PolizeiBerlin_E) June 7, 2014
(“Dog parlor #Wedding. Outrage by owner about dog’s haircut escalates to insult, body injury and sending off #24hPolizei”)
Besides bizarre tweets, followers also received insights into what police are informed about. For example, a mentally ill suicidal person, a crying child calling to report that his/her parents beat each other and the criminal investigation department driving to an apartment of a dead person.
The entertaining tweets were mostly the ones that got the attention. However, followers were also able to see the diversity of the police’s work.
A police spokesman said that the idea to get people interested in police tasks was successful. “Around 40 people called and want to apply.” More applications are expected to come within the next days as the German media continues to cover the story.
Twitter users are asking for more, but the department states that that is not going to happen so fast. After all, the police is not responsible for keeping us entertained on Twitter, but for keeping the streets save.
“We are not using this channel to inform people about ongoing happenings in the city, for example, during public events like the Soccer World Championship or the Christopher Street Day,” the police states.
However, for 24 hours that was very interesting and fortunately also a success.