The third Global Police Tweet-a-thon is just behind us. According to Bright Planet the third #poltwt saw over 15,000 original tweets from 1,000 unique users. A map of the officially registered users is on Google.

The most common device or app used was Twitter for iPhone, followed by the web-based twitter app and then Twitter for Android in third place.

Twitter was sponsored by Vizsafe, a crowd-sourcing for safety platform that allowed poltwt-ers across the planet to see how imagery can be mapped and evaluated for evidence in an event. Peter Mottur, the President and CEO of VizSafe says one goal is to increase citizen participation in public safety, “It’s about creating situational awareness for the police and for other members of the community. It’s really a tool that we hope leverages the technology and the willingness of the crowd to participate in safety.” The #Poltwt webpage has a couple great videos that illustrate how it works. It’s free to law enforcement and citizens!


This Global Police Tweet-a-thon challenged participants to do more than just tweet. We asked them to include more video and images, and develop a theme or campaign for their involvement. To that end, we offered prizes in the following categories.

  • Best overall use of social media
  • Best Hang Out On Air
  • Most retweeted/most popular
  • Best use of video
  • Best Selfie

Best overall use of social media
For this award, the judges were looking for an organization who approached the tweet-a-thon with a strategic plan and incorporated several types of media. The winner is the Halton Regional Police. Through several accounts, but specifically the @HRPSRIS account, the force highlighted cold cases of homicides, missing persons and sexual assaults. They tweeted prolifically and integrated videos of investigators discussing their cases and reenactments. It’s a great demonstration of the potential power crowd-sourcing with social media to solve crime.

Best Hang-out On-Air
This was not awarded. We didn’t see any!

Most popular
According to Bright Planet, the most popular account during #poltwt, that is an account mentioned the most with original tweets rather than retweets was the @WMPolice. It should come as no surprise as they seem to have an arsenal of police dog puppy pictures!

Best use of video
Many great videos were sent out during #poltwt, but judging swayed towards agencies who tweeted videos they created themselves. @GMPolice took this category because of its many and varied videos depicting the work of the police department. We’re looking forward to learning a great deal more from the Greater Manchester Police when the GMP Communications Director, Amanda Coleman speaks at the upcoming SMILE Conference in Birmingham, UK.

Best Selfie
There were several great selfies submitted and this category was extremely tough to judge. But the top photo tweeted came from @TampaPD. While others snapped some great shots, Tampa’s came with a story. It was a great story AND it fit into a tweet!


Only officially registered accounts can win. Each winner will receive complimentary admission for one to one of the next two SMILE Conferences, either in Birmingham, UK in September or in Phoenix in the April time frame (exact dates TBA).

Next #poltwt

As we look towards our next event, we hope to add more instruction on new techniques and ideas for expanding the depth of content. And of course, we want to get more agencies involved. Each time we do it we get more citizens asking questions and expressing their gratitude for poltwt and for their police departments.

The date for the next Global Police Tweet-a-thon will be announced on the poltwt website. We’re looking at the October/November timeframe.