Life on the Tweets

Local cops are facing challenges—and getting creative—on Twitter.

By Jess Blumberg - December 2013

BPD Takes To Social Media

Local cops are facing challenges—and getting creative—on Twitter.

By Jess Blumberg - December 2013


Though the Baltimore Police Department has maintained a Twitter page (@BaltimorePolice) for five years, the organization has recently faced some challenges with how it’s alerting its 40,000 followers to criminal activity.

“The concern is balancing the public’s need to know and the ability to do so in real time,” says spokesman Lt. Eric Kowalczyk. He explains that they’ve had to retract tweets because of misinformation. “In the first hour, the information flow is not 100-percent accurate. To meet the real-time expectation, we get notified, and we’ll tweet it out right away. But, if you continue to recall shootings, you’ll lose credibility.”

The department debated whether to delay the reporting of non-fatal shootings, but, in early October, it was decided to continue reporting as is. “There’s always a process where we look at ways to improve,” Kowalczyk says. One way the department is getting creative is nationwide “tweetalongs,” where officers tweet in real time and post pictures from the scene. “Overall, this kind of transparency is a good thing,” he says. “Whether it’s an officer walking the beat or using their BlackBerry, it’s another way to engage the community.”


You May Also Like

The Chatter

Q&A with Krishanti Vignarajah

Native Baltimorean and Michelle Obama's former director of policy talks about saving Let Girls Learn.

Food & Drink

You Are Here

Scenes from the Bel-Loc Diner and UnPub 7 at the Baltimore Convention Center.


The Chatter

Virtual Reality Used in Area Hospitals, Nonprofits

Local company Mindgrub is using new-age tech to help local organizations.

The Chatter

Cloud Computing Races to Glory at 142nd Preakness Stakes

Horse owned by Baltimore native eliminates possibility of a Triple Crown victory.

The Chatter

Five Things to Know Before Bingeing The Keepers on Netflix

Seven-part series examines nun's murder and sex abuse scandal at Archbishop Keough High School.

Connect With Us

Most Read


My Top Ten with Alex Obriecht
The owner of Race Pace Bicycles shares his favorite things.

Tiny Charges
NICU nurse Amy McArdle cares for the hospital’s littlest patients.

Cameo: Molly Gallant
We talk to the outdoor recreation programmer for Baltimore City Recreation & Parks.

Del Yeah!
DelFest is Western Maryland’s bluegrass Bonnaroo—and its best-kept secret.

Smooth Ride
Handlebar Café brings a West Coast vibe to Fells Point.