Police Tweet Out Crime

NBC Connecticut is doing it, so is the FBI. The social-networking Web site Twitter is an online tool to share information.

"I know that Waterford Police, Leyard Police, many of the big cities, like Milwaukee, Boston, are on board," South Windsor Police Sgt. Scott Custer said.

Now, South Windsor Police are on board, too.

You probably already know how it works. Sort of like Facebook, Twitter allows users to post information and updates, which are sent to other users who have signed up to receive them.

"One of the things we're exploring is how quickly we'd get out information such as road closures, school closures, emergency situations, in addition to the daily things I put out via e-mail," Sgt. Custer said.

The messages, called tweets, are instantaneous. When someone posts a message at the South Windsor Police Department, users can get the message immediately on their computers or mobile phones.

"If you get stuck in a roadblock like I was on (Interstate) 84 today, it would get sent right to your Blackberry. If you have a kid alert out there, if you have anything going on, if there's something you need to know about, weather, anything like that, Twitter is ideal," Steve Nelson, of Plainville, said.

Some people wish police departments had logged on sooner.

"It's about time they did something like this. It's a direct way of contacting the customers," Nelson said.

Twitter was only developed three years ago. Police say, as the network grows, they can see more and more departments using it to connect to the community.

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