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TL Police Station Begins Prolific Twitter Era

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Bringing government updates straight to people on their smartphones sounds like a boon for democracy but, as San Francisco police tweets tend to go, often consist of PR fluff.

Until recently. The Tenderloin station has been frequently posting very informative detailed tweets on arrests and police activity, far outshining its fellow stations.

The timing of a Jan. 9 Beyond Chron article titled “How the police fail the Tenderloin” is suspect, but some detailed tweets began before it was released. Still, it drew attention to the seeming lack of police presence when drugs are openly dealt.

Thanks to the new activity, Tenderloin residents know there have been at least four arrests to do with drugs and theft on Monday and Tuesday alone.

Take this one from Monday:

In contrast, Twitter accounts of Mission and Bayview stations are general meeting or celebration notices. Ingleside and Park stations accounts offer a little more information on traffic updates on top of the PR outreach while the Northern station hasn’t tweeted since Dec. 14, 2017.

Prior felony convictions, the years they happened, and the dollar amount of drugs seized isn’t the kind of information that’s typically handed out. And in this city where its residents must frequently ask tough questions on officer-involved shootings, unresolved homicides and seeming lack of response to areas like the Tenderloin, this information is welcome.

We’re going to let you in on a “Mainstream Media” secret: SFPD sends a curated crime recap to local press each weekday and we discern what’s newsworthy. But details are often scant and police don’t often tell us much when we follow up, citing ongoing investigation.

So it’s a welcome surprise that we have juicy, detail-ridden crime recaps coming to us every couple hours from one of the busiest stations in the city.

Keep it up, Tenderloin social media stars. We’re eagerly anticipating your next arrest.

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Ida Mojadad

Ida Mojadad is the Staff Writer at SF Weekly. You can reach her at (415)-359-2728 or imojadad@sfweekly.com. Follow her on Twitter at @idamoj.

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