Going viral?

Hyde Park police add Facebook page for followers

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The Hyde Park police are now online, and are hoping the community “likes” the new link.

The Police Department, which is made up of 13 full-time and seven part-time officers, including the Chief of Police, created a Facebook page on Oct. 27.

In an interview with the Observer, Lieutenant Robert Benson, who created the page, said the decision to utilize a social media site came about because the department hopes to “service the people in the community the best we can.”

The Facebook page was created in an “attempt to reach all demographics,” he added.

The police department receives around 14,000 calls yearly, so Benson hopes the Facebook page will “stop rumors from spreading” and help calm residents’ concerns on any reported incidents by providing accurate information.

The page has been successful so far: when the police first started the page, they posted surveillance-camera footage of a larceny at the Hyde Park Antique Center. The video had 1,300 hits within the first hour, and 1,100 people saw the flyer for the suspect, who is still at large.

Benson based the page on one done by the Town of Lloyd Police Department, where he began his career in 1993. One point of inspiration Benson drew on was not only featuring updates on crime in Hyde Park, but also on community events, such as the tree lighting, and photos from around town.

Benson said that the department “didn’t want just negative” features on the page, so that if someone were to search for information on the area, they would find non-crime items of interest. Future plans include updates on snow ordinances and drop boxes for the disposal of expired medication

The page, Town of Hyde Park Police, has nearly 1,100 “likes” already.

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