A Dutch perspective on #tacop
On August 4th this year Mike Ellis, from ECN, (@ EmergCommNetwrk) with the assistance of Lauri Stevens, from LAwS Communications (@Lawscomm), started a new action on Twitter, with the aim: to thank the cops for their work and service, so we can safely move around the streets. They christened the action to “thank-A-cop-thursday” . A particularly valuable initiative and certainly can be considered now as a “worldwide” twitter activity.
The 1st thank-a-cop-thursday was an instant success in the states. The initiative was also taken up in Great Britain and Canada. And the Netherlands couldn’t stay behind, so here too the initiative was picked up from very first day. From various sides Twitter using cops were thanked for their efforts.
A few weeks after it started (particularly in the U.S.), it has become an accepted term. We Dutch are considered to be down to earth and wondered “Is that now every Thursday?”. “Is it really necessary to do that every Thursday” were some of the reactions I got from other tweeps. Apparently not all of us think it’s needed. I notice that there has been a reduction in the number #tacop tweets from Dutch tweeps.
Together we could turn it into as much as a phenomenon as #followfriday. While there are many tweeps who agree with that, “thank-a-cop-thursday” stays a bit behind. That is unfortunate because it is a very easy and beautiful public friendly action.
Aggression against the police has been a problem for a long time. But also more generally all workers (including firefighters, EMS). A decent service performance is, unfortunately made increasingly difficult. The Ministry of Interior is also considering how violence against cops can be tackled.
Now this trend has to be stopped and we all can take action to help it stop. It is therefore important that we, – citizens and cops – give a heartfelt attempt to stop the violence, but in an audience-friendly way (no violence against violence). #Tacop does that.
It has been known only for a short time that cops are using Twitter in the Netherlands. Marga van Rijssel (from Dutch Community Police2.0) (on Twitter: @Libel) recently in an article in the Dutch paper “Volkskrant” and here on ConnectedCOPS explained the usefulness of twitter-using cops. The distance to citizens is reduced, for the public sees and reads what the cop in the district is doing. Citizens can very simple interact with him/her and draw questions on Twitter. The work that the cop for the district is doing is transparent. That is pure profit.
In short, let us all work together make sure that cops can do their work, for which they are appointed, simply to carry on their work. We’re only every Thursday here, standing still by their work in very simple way: thanking them for their efforts and service, so we can proceed safely on streets.
Help make “thank-a-cop-thursday” a success worldwide, because Social Media knows no borders, “thank-a-cop-thursday” is an international day. Do you know police officers (whether or not twittering) in your immediate area, put a tweet on Twitter including hashtag #tacop.
This blog is also posted on Dutch community Police2.0. Thanks on behalf of all cops!
Henri Achterkamp is a Civil Servant for the City of Ede in the Netherlands. He is an Information Manager and Senior-archivist using social media in his work. He can be found at www.linkedin.com/in/henriachterkamp and on Twitter @henriachterkamp