Joint Media Release
Seattle-Area Law Enforcement Agencies

*** For Immediate Release***

Date: July 29, 2014
Contact: See Below;
Twitter: @wastatepatrol

Local police ask you to “Tweet Smart” during emergencies

Seattle -- Social media has become the tool of choice for sharing life events, from mundane things like family dinners to major, life-changing, emergencies.

Seattle-area law enforcement agencies are asking you to “Tweet Smart” during emergencies, to help public safety responders keep you safe.

“Please don’t tweet about the movements of responding police officers, or post pictures,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “Sooner or later we’ll have an emergency where the suspect is watching social media. That could allow an offender to escape, or possibly even cost an officer their life.”

The agencies’ concern began to grow after watching events in Moncton, New Brunswick and Portland, OR.

“We watched these incidents as they unfolded on social media. In both cases, there was real-time information posted by individuals that could have compromised officer safety,” said Chief Bret Farrar of the Lakewood Police Department. 

Along with not posting information about police movements, posting pictures can also put officers at risk.

“If it’s safe to do so, go ahead and take pictures of our deputies in action,” said Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer.  “We’re very proud of the work they do. We’d simply ask that you wait to post those pictures until the emergency is over.”

In fact, pictures posted after the emergency can help investigators determine what happened as the event unfolded.

Here are some suggested dos and don’ts for the use of social media in emergencies.

Although the term is "Tweet Smart," the advice applies to whatever is your preferred social media platform.


Robert Calkins  Washington State Patrol  (360) 596-4013
Deputy Scott Wilson   Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office (360) 337-5698
Lt. Chris Lawler    Lakewood Police Department (253)830-5011

Participating Agencies:
Bellevue Police Department
Des Moines Police Department
Federal Way Police Department
King County Sheriff’s Office
Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office
Lakewood Police Department
Pierce County Sheriff’s Office
Seattle Police Department
Washington State Patrol

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