An increasing number of Ramsey residents are using Facebook and Twitter not only to keep up with old friends, post photos and follow celebrities, but to get public safety information from, and provide information to the Ramsey Police Department. The PD has spent the better part of 2012 building up its online presence – cultivating a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and updating its website – in an effort to increase direct communication with residents.
“Sometimes, if the public sees something happening in town, they are inclined to post it on Facebook,” Sgt. Richard Falotico, who set up and maintains the department’s social media sites, said. “We still get calls all the time from residents, but I felt like if we didn’t become a part of the Facebook conversation, we would really be missing out.”
The PD created its Facebook page on January 6. A Twitter account followed a few months after.
Since then, both accounts have been used to post a wide variety of public service announcements and security alerts – everything from information about arrests to road closure updates. For example, when a train-car accident last month shut down Main Street, the PD used social media to update residents on the status of traffic and reopening of the roadway.
For Falotico, the social media sites are “two-way streets,” so the PD is encouraging residents to use them as a way to communicate with Ramsey officers.
In January, he also spearheaded the revamping of the department’s website, making it more user-friendly, and posting more information on it. Residents will find resources like officers’ email addresses listed on the site, various downloadable forms, like traffic complaint forms, and the Swiftreach 911 application, which allows residents to directly sign up for reverse 911 calls.
“Our information is only as good as the number of residents who receive it,” Falotico said. Based on research, he said, “there are about 7 to 8,000 Ramsey residents on Facebook. My goal is for all of them to ‘Like’ our page."
Here are the ways you can keep in touch with the Ramsey PD: