Twitter Update

Back at the beginning of February, I invited readers to come along on a virtual ride-along as I tweeted a few shifts working as a police dog handler. The growing number of followers during the first week was proof there are certain aspects of law enforcement that people really want to know about, and I think I was able to confirm our jobs aren’t like what you watch on TV or see at the movie theatre.

Sure, there are similar moments, but the action and adrenaline rarely last for a complete hour.

Sometimes, nothing happens, which makes for boring Twitter updates. Other times, moments happen in spits and spurts, and are ideal for interesting and fast updates.

Then there are day where everything happens at once.

Like today. Too busy for Twitter, and the sort of day only a proper blog post can address.

At one point, while returning from a stolen auto incident where an officer from another agency was injured (last I heard, he should be okay, but he’s pretty banged up), there were two residential break and enters and a theft from auto in progress being broadcast at the same time but in different districts. I had to choose one to go to (the closest one) and told the other dispatchers I would get to help them if I could. Immediately after that, I raced across the city to a hit and run where the suspect driver fled on foot.

On days like today, there could have been half a dozen dog units zipping around the city and we all would have been kept busy.

By the end of the day, I was sweaty, tired, covered in mud, and my hair was a wild thing barely contained in it’s ponytail. I spent a few minutes picking blackberry thorns out of Hondo’s feet and giving him a good once-over as we had climbed an overpass on Highway #1, sloshed through a flooded area and scaled a barbed wire fence.

Some of you may think this sounds awful, but to a dog handler, these are clear indications it was a good day.

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But back to Twitter – I love the ability to micro-blog and send out messages in only 140 characters. Twitter balances ‘proper’ blogging and definitely has its place, especially in the policing world.

I’ve ‘met’ dozens of officers (many from the UK) and other people I never would have had the chance to interact with. Keeping in mind that Twitter is a social media platform and should not replace face-to-face interactions, it does provide a great avenue for expanding horizons.

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