The Aransas Pass Police Department is using social media to engage the community during spring break. They’re using Facebook live in a unique way to put the community in the driver’s seat during spring break patrol.
“It’s just a way to inform the community and share a little bit about policing with the community,” said Chief Eric Blanchard of the Aransas Pass Police Department.
Last Friday, Chief Blanchard did a nearly 2-hour ride-along while using the social media platform. He and his executive assistant, Stephanie Diaz, were on the lookout for spring break speeders.
During the ride-along, viewers had the opportunity to ask the Chief some hard-hitting questions like: how does the police lidar work? What is the object on the front of the Chief’s chest? Why does the Chief touch the tail light of a vehicle when they’re pulled over?
Chief Blanchard and Diaz engaged with the viewers and answered as many questions as they could.
“It was a lot of fun,” Diaz said. “We enjoyed interacting with the community and interacting with all of our followers on Facebook.”
Last checked, the video has 1,000 shares and more than 580,000 views on Facebook.
But what’s the whole reason behind it? Chief Blanchard and Diaz both say it’s important to be transparent and build relationships within the community.
“It is crucial to establish a high level of trust and legitimacy within the community,” said Chief Blanchard. “Without that, we lose that authority that we have as police officers.”
“It shows people that we are human beings, that we are real life people, (and) that we can associate with them on a personal level,” said Diaz.
The department has received positive feedback from as far away as South Africa.