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Oxford Police Expanding Social Media Outreach

The Oxford Police Department’s social media use has gained them much fame and fans on Twitter. 
With more than 30,000 Twitter followers, OPD has found a successful way to interact with members of the community. While many access the site for fun, OPD finds a way to balance entertainment and informative tweets.
“We also understand that it’s hard to maybe reach 25,000 students and 25,000 residents because the dialogue is a little different on what they’re concerned with, with each group. So we wanted to venture into social media through Twitter and Facebook and just to engage and start a conversation,” says OPD Major of Operations Jeff McCutchen.
Within the last two weeks, their tweets have had nearly five million impressions, according to the social media analysis site called Social Bearing.  The top tweet recently focused on a student trying to get out of his speeding ticket by incorporating his physic’s homework into his court appeal.
Tweets such as these are why people like Steven Gagliano, city editor for HottyToddy.com, have remained loyal followers.
“What OPD has been able to do is they’ve been able to do it in a fun, engaging way where it grabs people’s attention and they want to keep going back and seeing what is going on at the police department,” says Gagliano.
Most of the feedback OPD has received has been positive, but there have been some people that do not particularly enjoy some of their content.
“We’ve ventured out and tried different things and sometimes people don’t appreciate it, sometimes they don’t think its funny, but that’s okay too because it helps us learn, it helps us to kind of shape the program better,” says McCutchen.
The Oxford Police Department also plans to branch into another social media platform. OPD’s Snapchat debut is set to take place the Saturday of Double Decker.

Contributed by Kara Knapik kaknapik@go.olemiss.edu and Kyra Henderson khenders@go.olemiss.edu

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