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Rider Tweet Helps Capture Boston Subway ‘Flasher’ — Despite The Fact That Transit Police Were Not Yet On Twitter

August 8th, 2010 · 1 Comment

I’m posting another story from today’s Boston Globe, because it is a good example of Twitter as a useful public safety tool, and it illustrates how a good number of government entities are late to the social media party.

The article explains how a Twitter tweet led to the arrest of a man accused of exposing himself on the subway. The transit police chief said a passenger posted a picture on Twitter that led to the suspect. But it got to the authorities somewhat indirectly: yesterday, the Boston Herald reported they alerted the transit police — which is not yet on Twitter — to the tweets about the incident.

The transit police now plan to set up a Twitter account within a month. General manager Richard A. Davey said that although it is not a cure-all, technology can help law enforcement keep passengers safe and secure. “It is not in place of 911,’’ Davey said, “but if there are crimes and people report them, that helps us keep passengers safer.’’

Thanks to David Stephenson (@data4all) for bringing this story to my attention.

An MBTA Green Line trolley near...

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0 · Transportation Preparedness

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