Engaging Lincoln's Law Enforcement
In the College View community, crime rates are relatively low compared to the crime rates of Lincoln as a whole, all thanks to the city’s law enforcement, the police substation here on campus as well as our campus safety workers.
Lincoln is the second most populated city in Nebraska and it is sectioned off into five different areas: Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast and Center. With our campus located on the Southeast area of Lincoln, we have the least amount of police activity compared to the center or other parts of Lincoln.
Social media is a new tool the Lincoln Police Department is using to engage the public. “We really want the public to be aware of what we are doing,” comments Public Information Officer Angela Sands. “With all the issues going on today with law enforcement, being transparent with the community is a big help in bridging that gap and building trust.”
Officer Sands is in charge of running Lincoln Police Department’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages, keeping them up to date with information and activity in the city. Since each social media platform has different audiences, it’s important for Officer Sands to know how to tailor each message depending on where it’s going. “We have a large amount of younger people on our Twitter so those messages tend to be more humorous when compared to Facebook which is an older crowd,” comments Officer Sands. “There’s a balance between funny and informational in all our posts but at the end of the day, getting the information out is what’s most important.”
Of note, the Lincoln Police Department has every reported record from the year 1904 to the present online, and they’re all available to the public free of charge. Crime rates in the city have been on a steady decline since 2007 and, depending on the location, some rates might be higher than others. Since College View is a neighborhood that has been around for a while, as opposed to other neighborhoods that have primarily rent-to-own homes, its crime rate is relatively low.
Depending on the severity of the situation, Campus Safety is usually able to call for help from the police in the substation. “I think the location of the substation is great,” comments Campus Safety worker and sophomore international rescue and relief major Dan Hernandez. “If there’s a situation we aren’t trained to handle, the police are always right there.” In the case of parking violations, Campus Safety workers are able to search for license plate numbers using the department's computer server to hand out tickets.
To stay updated on news from the Lincoln Police Department, follow their social media on twitter @Lincoln_Police
Caroline Guchu is a junior studying communication.