Social media has increasingly become a line of communication between authorities and the public.
The Montana Highway Patrol launched the Tweeting Trooper program at the beginning of 2018 for many of its districts. In January, the program assigned its seventh Tweeting Trooper to the Billings region.
In 280 characters or fewer, Trooper Calvin Jimmerson tweets about road conditions, car accidents, and anecdotes from work.
In one tweet, Jimmerson writes about a man arrested with a handcuff keychain: “He had to wear real handcuffs when he was arrested, though… #irony, #obeythelaw.”
“This kind of helps to humanize us, let people know that most of us have a sense of humor, we have families, we get out and do things on our days off,” said Jimmerson. “And it just gives people that perspective that we’re people that are just trying to do a job and want to get home to our families at the end of the day as well.”
Jimmerson said the Tweeting Trooper program increases transparency, gives the public someone they can reach out to and brings troopers’ personalities out into the open.