It’s been an interesting first month as the Vancouver Police Department’s social media officer.
After spending almost my entire working life outside, on my feet or in a car, it’s a new experience sitting at a desk. At least the desk is next to a floor-to-ceiling window with a nice south view, so it still sort of feels like I’m outside, especially when the sun is out. I’ll have to remember to bring sunscreen.
The actual work is similar, though. I’m still interacting with people (albeit online), answering crime related questions, and liaising with other units in and outside the VPD. Though I’m at a desk, I have the ability to grab a car and go if need be, and my Sgt. has a radio that I keep sneaking over to my desk to listen to (old habits die hard and I’ve been told that I’ll eventually lose this habit, but I’m not so sure…).
One thing that is different is the mercurial temperature of those who are vocal about their love or hate for the Vancouver Police Department.
Those who support the VPD are really supportive.
It’s really nice to see the good relationships between the various units in the department and the general public, and to read the ‘atta boys’ that come in through the departmental email on a regular basis. It’s this part of the new position that gives me a love-my-job sort of feeling.
On the flip side, those who don’t support the police really don’t support them.
I’m not talking about the ones who challenge police to think outside the box or the ones who engage in spirited debate, or even those who are critical about policies or tactics. I’m talking about those who absolutely despise law enforcement.
I usually ignore these sorts, as nothing I’m going to say is going to change their mind.
But while the solution for trolls is the big ol’ block button, other users need to be addressed when they use social media to disrespect a fallen member, or wrongfully accuse a member of a heinous crime.
Which I’m more than happy to do.
So while this new job is a far cry from what I’ve done for the last 18 years, it’s a little like coming home, too.