CHICAGO (CBS) — A southwest suburban police department will be trying something novel tonight: streaming the police responses of one officer live on Facebook.
Palos Park Police Chief Joe Miller said, for the past three years, his department has used Twitter to give people a glimpse into what police officers’ jobs are like. An officer would tweet and provide pictures of what he or she was doing.
Miller called them “virtual ride-a-longs.”
Tonight, that virtual ride-a-long is taken up a notch. Miller said one of his officers will be streamed on Facebook Live as the officer is responding to 911 calls.
Officer Ross Chibe is a 10-year veteran of the Palos Park Police Department. Miller said a police cadet will be with Officer Chibe, and will use an iPad to stream on Facebook Live.
Miller said the aim is to show people what police do when they’re doing it, and get across that it’s not as easy a job as some may think.
“Friday is traditionally a busier night, just because more people are out. Traffic is heavier. Everything from car accidents to people engaged in disputes after a few drinks,” he said.
The chief said he knows people can comment in real-time as the Facebook Live stream is running. He called that a double-edged sword, in which you can get positive and negative comments.
“The reality is that we have a job to do in a free society. It’s not an easy job, and that’s really the purpose of doing things like this is to show people, it may not be as easy as you think it is,” he said.
Chibe’s 12-hour shift starts at 6:00 tonight.