Tecumseh PD Connecting To The Community


January 3, 2019

Countywide & Sun/Gloria Trotter

Chief J.R. Kidney and Det. Trey Baker look over Facebook responses to their posts.

From Santa sightings to wanted fugitives, the Tecumseh Police Department has taken to Facebook to ramp up community awareness and involvement.

Just about a month into the new program, the department has begun video messages on the popular social media site, as well as carefully planned posts every weekday. A video of a Tecumseh officer who saw Santa on Christmas Eve after answering a "disturbance" call drew 12,000 viewers.

And next week the department will hold its first-ever "Coffee With A Cop" event, inviting the public to come by and meet some of the officers and get to know them. It is set for Friday, Jan. 11, from 8:30-9:30 am at the police department and will be the first in a series of quarterly events.

IEP Security heard about the event and offered to sponsor it, said Kidney, and then the Tecumseh Library called and volunteered to sponsor the second one.

"The chief (J.R. Kidney) brought back some good ideas from chief school," said Det. Trey Baker, who is handling the bulk of the Facebook project. "The idea is to engage the community and let them know what we're doing."

Kidney kicked it off with a couple of short videos explaining the department's efforts, and plans to have each officer do the same in coming month. The idea is that the officer to tell the public about himself. Assistant Chief Mike Mallinson is scheduled next.

Meanwhile, Baker has a schedule of posts each week, including:

• Missing Person Monday

• Tip Tuesday, featuring safe driving tips

• Warrant Wednesday, spotlighting someone the police are looking for

• Statute/Ordinance Thursday (they're working on a clever name), and

• Fact Friday, sharing interesting statistics.

There are seasonal and special event posts as well. On Monday, it was "Going Out Tonight? So Are We!" urging partygoers not to drink and drive.

"The response has been great. We've had lots of good feedback," said Kidney, who has been police chief since May. "We work hard to keep it updated ... We're not putting out every move we make, but we want to get critical information out there - school lockdowns, wrecks, weather. We want to keep it positive."

"The biggest thing is building rapport with the citizens," said Baker.

Meanwhile, the department is excited about the radar trailer that goes into service this month. It will be set up a different location each month, and will post and record the speed of the cars going by, building a study of driving speeds. It will be supplemented by a patrol car down the way, of course, for enforcement.

And the department is looking for some help. Two or three slots need to be filled, and Kidney is taking applications until Jan. 17. Certification is desirable but not required. Pay is $13 an hour for certified officers, which Kidney admits isn't great, but the benefits are. More information is available on the department's Facebook page.


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