Madison police turn to Twitter to reach college students

Police post information about alcohol safety inspections
Madison police turn to Twitter to reach college students

The Madison Police Department is hoping to reach college students by stepping up its presence on Twitter.

The Twitter handle @MPDCentralCPT represents the Central Community Policing Team. Police are using Twitter to get the message out to college students on alcohol safety inspections.

Updates on the Twitter stream include where the policing team is headed, such as house parties and bars, tips on staying safe and real-time updates on busted parties.

Police said they hope the Twitter account will remind the smartphone generation to party safely.

“If they’re trying to find out anyway, we figure we might as well let them know, maybe gain some voluntary compliance ahead of time,” said Madison police Lt. Kristen Roman. “Certainly, we’re not going to reveal every bar where we’re trying to do some safety checks.”

Over the weekend, the community policing team busted a 16-keg party, and responded to another party with 30 cases of beer. The details of the violations were posted on the Twitter page.

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Twitter has been a relatively untapped resource for law enforcement, but Madison police said the social media tool has a far greater reach with young people than handing out fliers in those college neighborhoods. 

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