Police using social media to engage community

Posted at 10:04 PM, Apr 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 00:04:14-04
The Nampa Police Department said they used to knock on doors to get to know the community they serve.
Now, they said the city has grown too big, so they are taking a digital approach to let people know they are there.
From thank you tributes to riding donkeys around in a gym, Nampa PD has been having some serious fun, and they've invited the public to watch on their social media pages.
"It shows people that we are human just like they are.," said Lt. Joe Ramirez. "We have fun just like they do."
Recently a video they posted online of officers playing baseball with some neighborhood kids garnered more than a million views online. 
They said by showing the public a different side of police work, they hope to build trust in the community.
"We meet a lot of our residents that live here in this city through social media. I think that it gives us a personality to them," explained Sgt. Tim Riha. "They are not just seeing the uniform, they are seeing the human side to us as well."
They say those "likes" are actually helping them with their jobs.
"When we post pictures, say a still of a video from a theft or a burglary suspect, we have an increase in the number of people looking out for us and looking to help us," said Riha.
"They can help us identify and send messages, and lead us down maybe a path that we wouldn't have been able to find on our own," said Carmen Boeger, 911 manager for Nampa Police.
They said they have had so much success, they have had other police departments contact them, asking for advice regarding their social media pages. 
While they say they are happy to offer some tips, they are not professionals. They are just normal people doing their jobs. 
"You will see our flub ups, you will see our editing issues, but we really have a good time doing it and we know it's for the right reasons. It's for promoting our community and how great it is and we are lucky to be a part of it," said Boeger. 
To show your support you can like the Nampa Police Facebook page and keep up with all the things they are doing for the community.