Prince Rupert RCMP took to social media earlier this month to provide an inside look into policing the community.
The unique social media event took place on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 18 and into the early morning of Oct. 19. Prince Rupert RCMP Inspector Wayne Maughan and Const. Matt Ericson were on duty and attended calls received by other members.
As the pair responded to calls and performed their regular duties, information was posted to the Prince Rupert RCMP Twitter page: @PR_RCMP and Prince Rupert Crime Stoppers’ Facebook page. They also answered questions from social media users, and provided “fast facts” throughout the night.
Ericson, spokesperson for the Prince Rupert RCMP’s, said organizers were pleased with the event.
“It definitely was a successful event that provided a bit of insight into policing and what we do on any given day,” he said, noting more than 10,000 people were reached online throughout the evening.
“One of our posts on Facebook reached 2,718 people. We ended up picking up 117 ‘Likes’ to the Facebook page and over 30 additional followers to our Twitter page.”
During the social media ride-along, Prince Rupert RCMP posted each call they responded to on its Twitter page, totalling 10 by the end of the night.
Of the 10 calls, six were alcohol-related complaints. Three of the incidents involved individuals who were unable to care for themselves and had to be held in custody until they were sober, with one involving an intoxicated group of youth.
“Unfortunately in Prince Rupert we receive a fair amount of alcohol related calls. Particularly on weekends,” reads one of the tweets.
Other calls included disturbances at a downtown hotel and on the east side, a domestic dispute in progress and theft from a cab driver.
There are higher call volumes on Fridays and Saturdays, with Ericson saying 10 calls is fairly common for a Saturday night.
Photos taken while RCMP performed their duties were also posted to the Prince Rupert Crime Stoppers Facebook page that night. Pictures showed RCMP performing a downtown traffic stop, responding to a public intoxication call, preparing to conduct a check of a bar and more.
Ericson said the Prince Rupert RCMP are considering having more social media events in the future, perhaps every few months.