Way To Up Your Social Media Game, Dallas Police Department!

Dear Dallas Police Department,

What's new with ya? We're sure this week’s been a pretty long one for you, seeing all the increased interaction with the public you've encouraged with the new social media initiative you announced on Monday.

We should get one thing out of the way first: We promise this is a genuine bit of praise for the DPD proposing a forward-thinking initiative and not a subtle warning to our readers to think twice before answering any DMs or Facebook messages about where all the good illegal parties are going down this weekend.

Now that that's out of the way, we can get to our real reason for writing this — our being grateful of your making an effort to connect with members of the community that you might not otherwise.

When we talked to Shawn Williams, manager of your community relations department this week, he told us, “We want to interact with residents who may not attend a traditional crime watch meeting but still want to know how to keep their neighborhood safe.”

That's cool to us. Because older folks usually run those things. And old people coffee is terrible.

We also really dig being able to hop on Pinterest and check out all the property you guys have found during investagations. The fact that the poor soul who had his or her Big Green Egg stolen might get it back just warms our heart. Those things are ruinously expensive, but you can't really put a price on being able to smoke your own delicious meats at home, which is something the egg's owner may now get a second chance at.

We know that you have caught a little flack for some, shall we say, colorful moments on Twitter and Facebook in the past. And then there was the whole Fruit Ninja Incident.

But, frankly, we appreciate the candor for the most part. We like seeing some of the most important people in our city using Twitter just like we do. And, of all people, we understand the urge to take serious umbrage with the Dallas Morning News.

If we can say one thing, though, as there have been a few times when we should have heeded this advice ourselves, it's this: Please think before you tweet. It's totally not cool to name people as “persons of interest” if they turn out to be completely innocent.

Nevertheless, we have high hopes for what you guys are doing. Little by little, our city seems to be showing some signs of genuinely progressive behavior recently.

And, so far, it seems like this new initiative might become part of that evolution, promoting friendly, informal and useful communication between groups of Dallasites that might be a little wary of each other.

Regardless of how it turns out, we appreciate the effort, DPD. And, trust us, we'll be checking Pinterest at least a couple of times a week to see if you guys ever recover those Chappelle's Show DVDs we had stolen in 2004.

Warm Regards,

Stephen Young and the rest of the Central Track staff

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