The NYPD is very, very bad at Twitter, and yet for some reason, lately, it has only been encouraging hapless cops to tweet even more. If all those grizzled old Lennie Briscoe types are going to be trusted to navigate the world of hashtags and favs, they'll need some education.
The New York Post reports that the department recently began sending top officers to mandatory classes on using Twitter at John Jay College, which seems like a positive development in the wake of #myNYPD. A memo handed out to attendees reportedly reads in part, "USE COMMON SENSE."
Discouraged are "off-the-cuff" remarks like Harlem precinct commander Thomas Harnisch's coldhearted joke at the expense of a woman who'd been killed by a subway train, in favor of "public information stuff." One source told the Post:
They want us to put info like street closures or bus diversions because of a street fair. Also info like an accident-prone location or a picture of the cop of the month.
Another admitted the classes are probably a good idea, because some older commanding officers may not "may not realize the power or the damage one wrong message can do."
While teaching the cops something—anything—about how to not make people hate you even more on Twitter may help the NYPD's public relations in the long run, it's hard not to feel like there are more pressing issues at hand.
[Image via AP]