During the Community Engagement 2021 sessions hosted by the Bonnyville RCMP, a question was asked about how more social network communication would be appreciated by the community from the RCMP.
The Alberta RCMP has an active presence on Facebook (@RCMPinAlberta), Twitter (@RCMPAlberta), and Instagram (@rcmpalbertagrc).
The question asked, “More social network communication would be appreciated, I know there are many things you can’t say but not saying anything is worse plus seeing into what the RCMP is up to would help people humanize your members.”
Staff Sgt. Sarah Parke from the Bonnyville RCMP says, “We are constantly looking for ways to be innovative on these platforms and potentially grow to include other social networking platforms. On our social media feeds you will find many posts on a variety of topics.”
One of those campaigns is called #CommunityMembers, which highlights individual officers in a number of detachments across the province.
“They portray our member in half uniform and half in everyday clothing,” Staff Sgt. Parke said. “These posts are meant to give our followers a better idea of who the individuals are behind the uniform. We also frequently share posts of members out in the communities we serve, visiting schools, attending local events, or organizing safety initiatives.”
One of those local events happened recently in Bonnyville with “Cram the cruiser” as the RCMP successfully collected 4200 lbs of food for the local food bank.
The RCMP in Alberta also regularly posts on social media to spotlight various units such as Police Dog Services, the Explosive Disposal Unit,
Serious Crimes Branch, Major Crimes Unit, etc. so that the public can understand some of the more nuanced units that make up the Alberta RCMP.
“Our social media channels also share operational content,” Staff Sgt. Parke said.
This includes highlighting large seizures of firearms, stolen property, or drugs.
“We share missing and wanted individuals to our channels to raise public awareness,” Staff Sgt. Parke said. “Social media is a powerful tool and it is also used as a means to ask the public for help if we are unable to identify offenders. Further, we share messaging on road safety, crime prevention, fraud detection and highlight potential crime trends that the public should be aware of.”
In addition to the above content, the RCMP also shares public safety awareness messaging on Twitter and Facebook. This alerts individuals in affected areas to the fact that there is an increased police presence nearby. It also provides information to individuals on whether there is a need to shelter in place for safety purposes.
“To maintain investigational integrity and for the safety of the public and our officers, we share only that which is necessary,” Staff Sgt. Parke concluded.