Posted Jun 17, 2013 05:20 pm CDT
The chief of police in a small town in Ohio has a big profile on Facebook, thanks to an alternative approach to law enforcement that has won him a fan base roughly five times the size of the population he serves, which numbers about 10,300.
Those who do wrong are likely to hear what Chief David Oliver thinks about their misdeeds, large or small. But the 45-year-old chief also has tried to reward good behavior, noting on his Facebook page that Kent’s officers have been instructed to stop and ticket—with a piece of paper good for a free ice cream cone—children who are wearing helmets while bicycling, according to the Associated Press and Yahoo News.
The posts have the effect of extending the chief’s open-door policy, since he will respond online to residents’ concerns, and focusing public attention on bad behavior that needs to be corrected.
“If you use a handicapped space and you jump out of the vehicle, all healthy-like, as if someone is dangling free cheeseburgers on a stick, expect people to stare at you and get angry,” the chief wrote in a post last year. “You are milking the system, and it aggravates those of us who play by the rules. Ignoring us does not make you invisible. We see you, loser.”