Learn what a shift is like for an Arlington Police Officer working on the DWI Task Force from the comfort of your home. Arlington Police Chief Theron Bowman invites you to join him for a virtual ride-along this week. Chief Bowman will host a virtual ride-along using Twitter for the Department’s first “Tweet-along." On Friday, December 9, 2011, starting at 6 p.m., Chief Bowman will tweet messages and pictures from the DWI Task Force initiative. With this project, the Arlington Police Department hopes to help citizens get a glimpse into the serious nature of DWI enforcement efforts that are ongoing in Arlington. The "Tweet-along" will include tweeting messages from the initial briefing session to actual traffic stops and calls for service that he will encounter during the shift.
Each winter there is an increased enforcement for intoxicated drivers during the holidays, but this year the effort began earlier because of the high trend of traffic fatalities seen so far this year. At this point, there have been 35 traffic fatalities in Arlington, with almost half attributed to drivers being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The DWI Task Force started on October 31, and will run through January 1. In addition to the lengthier increased enforcement period, this year there are more Officers assigned to the Task Force patrolling the streets looking for intoxicated drivers. Officers are doing more bar checks, and community partnership meetings have been held with businesses that sell alcohol to help with DWI prevention.
The goal of the “Tweet-along” is to show the community how the DWI Task Force’s concentrated effort works. Chief Bowman will join an Officer on his shift on the DWI Task Force and ride in the passenger seat to show how the typical shift occurs. In addition to the enforcement effort, education is also the key to prevention. Hopefully, at least one person will hear about the DWI Task Force enforcement and this “Tweet-along,” and think twice before getting behind the wheel intoxicated. Such a decision could save that person’s life or the life of another. The Arlington Police Department is committed to keeping our streets safe and removing dangerous, intoxicated drivers from behind the wheel.
Social media is a relatively new method of communication for local law enforcement, and the Department looks at it as yet another beneficial tool to connect and disseminate information to Arlington's diverse community. The Department currently engages the community with Facebook, YouTube, Nixle, and Twitter. Visit the ArlingtonPD Twitter account as Chief Bowman will use the hash tag - #tweetalong - to report on this educational effort.