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Philadelphia Cops To Experiment With 'Tweeting' From Officers on Duty

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Tweet on the street: Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says that in coming weeks, he's starting a test in which officers on duty will post updates on Twitter -- to better reach the communities they patrol.

At a City Council hearing Wednesday, Ramsey said that with a tight budget, he plans to have his officers make more use of technology, including a mobile web site and upgrades to the main web site to allow anonymous tips and photos to be uploaded.

"We've got to use everything available to us," Ramsey told council members Wednesday. "We've got to leverage technology to be a force multiplier to help us."

And that includes tweeting.

Ramsey's Communications Director Karima Zedan says that within a month, they are launching an effort to have officers -- from foot patrol up to inspector -- tweeting regularly.

"Make sure they stay within our social media policies, train them in the language of Twitter, give them some guidelines, and then hopefully have them become known to the community through social media," she said.

Zedan said one detective, who's already tweeting, has 1,000 followers in his district.

"All of those contacts, they're positive. It's a thousand positive community contacts every time he gives out information, updates people," Zedan said.

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