Last night saw the first ever Walsall ‘Tweet & Greet‘ with myself taking control of the @walsallpolice Twitter channel for a full hour, answering questions put to me by members of the public. No one was quite sure how it’d work but I think it went really well in the end with people showing a genuine interest in what we do and happy to engage in a little lighthearted banter too.
I think the event was made all the more exciting by the fact that moments before starting I’d managed to knock out my internet connection by unwittingly resetting my wireless router. This meant when I powered up my computer at five to seven, I went to open up Firefox (yes, I am that cool) and found a blank screen staring back at me. A couple of fruitless diagnostic checks later I had to resort to the trusty iPhone and conducted the whole chat with my eyes squinting at the small text and my fingers moving in a blur that would see sparks flying later in the session. D’oh!
You can see a transcript of the conversation by clicking on the above link which will open a PDF file. You may need a PDF reader to view this file, available here if you don’t already have one installed.
Owing to the success of the event, we and other officers around the West Midlands are hoping to put on further ‘tweetings’ for you to get involved with. We’ll be looking at getting officers from different ranks and departments to come online so that you have the chance to put to them any burning questions you may have.
As a final note, there was a little confusion last night as to whether I was an actual person or just a computer program creating automatic replies. I got a little confused myself towards the end of the session but can say with reasonable confidence that I am not HAL 9000, Skynet or any other self-aware machine. I’m an actual police officer keen to satisfy the obvious eagerness of the public to ask their bobbies questions and engage in a good old chat!