HARDWICK — It’s a digital world, and the Hardwick Police Department recognizes that.
That’s why the department has completely revamped its website and social media — an effort to better connect with the community they tirelessly serve to protect.
Traditionally, communication between residents and police had been through in-person contact or over the phone. While that is still an option, it was recognized by the department that there were available resources that could be expanded upon.
“Social media seems to be a better route for a number of people,” Chief Michael Henry said. “Quite a few people have felt more comfortable reporting crimes through Facebook Messenger rather than having an officer meet with them.”
Henry said there have been several instances where community members have helped the department solve crimes through messaging and the public comment section.
Hardwick PD used to have a Facebook page, but it was not regularly monitored and became unusable when the password was locked. This led to the creation of a brand new page and with it, a much more user-friendly and accessible page.
It is now monitored daily by several officers. Press releases are also posted and public assistance is not only available but encouraged.
The department’s website has also seen an overhaul. Sticking with the goal of providing access to the community they serve, every officer’s contact information is listed. Another resource is now there is an option to download commonly requested forms. Sticking with the convenience factor of the social media page, people no longer have to drive to the PD’s office to pick up a form.
Most recently, social media posts have ranged from asking for help identifying people and vehicles to the announcement of the department’s new bike patrols to a reminder that Hardwick PD offers a drug drop-off box in its lobby; part of the Drug Take Back program, which is just one of the several programs and services presented on the updated website.
All in all, the reasoning for the reconstructed online presence of the Hardwick Police Department came down to presenting community members with more access to desired resources and more ways to effectively communicate with the officers responsible for protecting them.
“We work for the Hardwick community and need to have multiple forms of communication with the members to meet their needs,” Henry said. “Working together solving crimes and quality of life issues helps build a stronger community.”