Evanston Police Will Tweet From 911 Call Center

EVANSTON, Ill. (WBBM) – If you have ever wondered what an average weekday is like at a 911 call center, you will have the chance to find out this coming Friday, November 4, by Twitter.

From 3 till 11 p.m. Friday, Evanston Police will tweet most of what comes into the suburb’s 911 Dispatch Center — both serious and trivial.

The city of Evanston’s interim division manager for citizen engagement, Erika Storlie, will be one of those tweeting. Storlie said city officials see the tweet-a-thon as an educational tool.

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“People don’t know sometimes how many calls come in to the 911 Center,” she said. “There’s a disconnect.”

Police are hoping that it prompts some people to call the city of Evanston’s 311 non-emergency line instead of dialing 911 for any trivial matter.

She said those who follow the tweets will not see all of the detail a person would hear when listening to a police scanner.

Calls involving domestic violence, child abuse or sex crimes will not be tweeted, and those involving violent crimes won’t include specific addresses, just general locations, to try to minimize the chances that dozens, if not hundreds, of people will be standing just outside the crime scene tape.

On the other hand, you won’t see all of the ten-codes and other jargon police use when communicating. Storlie said the tweets will be written in everyday English.

She said she and a volunteer have spent time preparing for the tweet-a-thon by learning the codes and other language officers use and how best to translate it for the average Twitter follower.

Evanston’s city manager got the idea from Seattle Police, which did a similar tweet-a-thon earlier this year.

Those who don’t have Twitter accounts will have a way to follow along, by going to the city of Evanston’s Web site.

The tweets can be found at http://www.twitter.com/CityofEvanston with a hash tag of tweetathon, or online at http://www.cityofevanston.org.

More from Bob Roberts
  • Liam Fox

    I thought police dispatchers were paid to do a very important job – not posting on social network sites. Frankly this is a terrible idea, what about the privacy of people who are contacting the police in confidence? I can understand why this is going ahead, but surely it would be a lot easier to put out anonymous, randomized data which has been gathered automatically. Get back to work and stop trying to think up “quirky” idea with public money.

  • LOTD

    Only in the liberal d@uche-bag suburb of evanston!!! Maybe they will tweet about those hardened criminals using plastic bags??

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