HCPD “Tweet from the Beat” campaign keeps people safer, increases transparency

(Courtesy: Horry County Police Department)

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – During a live tweet-a-thon Saturday night into Sunday morning, the Horry County Police Department showed what officers go through on a day-to-day basis.

The point wasn’t to serve as entertainment for Twitter users, but rather to help keep people safer.

Krystal Dotson, the spokesperson of the department and the creator of this campaign, says it keeps people safer by getting them information more quickly.

She said the department received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback for “Tweet from the Beat.”

During the event an officer live tweeted throughout his shift to show viewers what he could go through every day.

Dotson said they wanted a creative way to increase transparency.

“Knowledge is power,” she said. “So when they have those tools of what we’re looking for, what help we’re needing, then we’ve got eyes and ears out there in places maybe our officers are not.”

Some calls were easier—at one point in the night the officer stopped to give traffic directions.

Some were more serious, like when the officer arrested someone and showed viewers the process of taking them to jail.

“It’s actually working,” Dotson said. “We’re solving a lot of crimes with the help of the citizens of Horry County by being so vigilant with our campaign.”

Just Saturday alone, Dotson said the department received 200 new likes and followers.

“This is a dramatic jump from where we were.”

People from different countries even tuned in.

“We had people on this video from Russia and from France and various places throughout the world that all heard the Horry County Police Department. That’s huge,” Dotson said.

News13 spoke to Police Chief Joseph Hill last week about the new social media. He said overall it makes the department and its officers more approachable.

“Yeah we can poke fun, have a little bit of fun,” Hill said. “But the main thing is get that information out, information sharing, and also some of that feedback from our communities.”

Because of the positive response, Dotson said the department plans to do this as many Saturdays as they can in the future.

They will have different officers take over the account to showcase the different areas they patrol in the county.