News Release #: 17-120
Known globally as a “Tweet from the Beat”, the initiative sparked as law enforcement agencies began offering virtual ride-alongs via social media as a tool for community outreach. The sheriff’s office launched their inaugural “Tweet from the Beat” in September 2016. The purpose of the program is to give community members a look at policing in real-time from the passenger seat of a patrol vehicle, while exposing how challenging and dynamic a shift can be. A member of the agency’s Community Affairs Office accompanies a deputy for up to 12 hours to take photos and videos and share them to the agency’s Twitter account in real time. During past ride-alongs, followers have watched as deputies have made felony arrests and responded to traffic crashes, burglaries, and even heroin overdoses.
“This fun initiative gives community members an opportunity to see just what a deputy goes through on an average day,” said Community Affairs Director Kaitlyn Perez. “What people are often most surprised to learn is that there is no “routine” shift in law enforcement. What might start out as a slow morning assisting with traffic enforcement can quickly evolve into a response to a major, large-scale incident. What we hope people get out of this experience is a more robust understanding of the challenges law enforcement face on a daily basis and how so much of the work they do comes back to solving social issues; not just fighting crime.”
To follow along during Friday’s “Tweet from the Beat”, citizens can create a Twitter account by visiting www.Twitter.com/SignUp and following the sheriff’s office account @SarasotaSheriff.