A good Facebook post really is an art. For instance: posting a selfie in front of the rising sun, discussing the word “chucking” (to throw with some force), or giving someone a stuffed duck to hold while you snap a picture and then hit “upload.” For the Bangor Police Department, the lightened mood is all in the name of public service. Praise the (taxidermied) Duck of Justice.
What a joy it is to read the Facebook posts of Sgt. Tim Cotton — and see the positive responses from Bangor residents and the national spotlight from National Public Radio. Take these gems, for instance:
— “Have a great Wednesday night…we are only expecting about 14 inches of rain over the next few hours so it should not slow down your afternoon commute on Union Street even one little bit.”
— “For the record Facebook is not the appropriate place to tell us about crimes in progress. You know who you are “Francis”. Seriously, stop it. If you have a crime to report it is best to contact our dispatch center. As for “Steve on Stillwater”…we cannot let the dog out around noon. Not going to happen.”
— “Main Street from Cross Street to Hammond/State Street intersection is closed from now (645pm June 30th) until tomorrow morning. It’s not that far…you could throw a rock about that distance if you were working out like the doctor told you. … Just plan accordingly and if you don’t…the flagger with the ‘road closed’ sign should be a good reminder. He seems really nice.”
Facebook isn’t the only way police are staying in touch with the community. Who could forget the flash mob organized in June for retired Bangor Police Chief Don Winslow after he decided to stop treatment for his cancer?
In April, Bangor cops were belted with color — and praise — after the Bangor Color Run. And they agreed to participate in a comedic video, which was played before they received the Impact Award from the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitor’s Bureau annual Tourism Awards in May, for their outstanding work.
Good public relations are essential to being a successful police department, and humor is an often-overlooked part of the equation. People need to know they can approach police. Cops don’t solve crimes and keep residents safe all on their own; it takes a community.
But we don’t have to tell you that. According to the outpouring of support on the Bangor PD’s Facebook page, you already know:
— “Your FB additions and humor are the smartest way EVER to become closer to your city and the public.”
— “Laughter is a great way to relieve stress, and your job has plenty of it.”
— “Knowing the names and faces is awesome. It makes you more human and really approachable. I enjoy the pictures and background stories on the officers.”
— “Let the good things happen, people. There’s enough of the bad.”
In case you are one of the few who hasn’t seen the Bangor police postings — or the stuffed duck pictures — visit http://bit.ly/BangorPD.