Sevierville Police Department now tweeting updates on Twitter

Sevierville Police Department now tweeting updates on Twitter

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SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - The Sevierville Police Department is now tweeting updates on Twitter.

You can follow the department at SeviervillePD.

Officials said the Twitter page provides time-sensitive information for people on temporary road closures, traffic incidents, crime alerts or emergencies.

"We are always looking for methods to improve public awareness," said Police Chief Don Myers in a press release. 

"Tweeting is an efficient way to get important messages to the public in a timely manner. We hope this service will help motorists avoid areas where delays are ongoing and also keep citizens informed of emergency situations that might affect them," Myers added.

Myers admits he's still learning to text, but he knows sites like Twitter are the preferred mode of communication for many of the citizens he serves.

Since opening their account last month, the department has tweeted about construction delays, weather conditions and the buckling of Ridge Road due to all the recent rain and snow.

"If we put the information out, and you're able to avoid a congested area, then you get to your destination in a timely matter, plus it helps us because it doesn't make things as problematic in having to direct the traffic or to get the emergency vehicles to the place they need to go," Myers says.

The tweets come straight from dispatchers.

"They're online with the Twitter account and when something happens, let's say we have an accident, as soon as they have an opportunity, after they get everything settled down in dispatch, they would get on the Web site and put out that message," Myers says.

In the future, followers can also expect crime alerts, although tweets are limited to 140 characters each.

"If we had a suspect in some sort of crime, obviously we could quickly put out a description and if anybody saw that person, stay away from them and call the police immediately," he says.

The Sevierville Police Department has 77 followers right now and expects many more to join.

They got the idea to start tweeting after reading about big cities in other parts of the country that did the same thing. 

UT Police is the only other local department with a Twitter page. Johnson City also uses the technology.

To receive mobile texts, just follow the department and activate the mobile text option.

Even if you don't have a Twitter page, you can still follow the department's page for updates.

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