WKU Police Department increases social media use to alert more students

The+front+office+of+the+WKU+Police+Department+on+Aug.+26%2C+2019.+The+WKU+Police+Department+has+begun+a+complete+transformation+for+the+start+of+the+fall+2019+semester.%C2%A0The+renovations+are+meant+to+improve+morale+within+the+department%2C+starting+with+cosmetic+improvements.

The front office of the WKU Police Department on Aug. 26, 2019. The WKU Police Department has begun a complete transformation for the start of the fall 2019 semester. The renovations are meant to improve morale within the department, starting with cosmetic improvements.

Michael Crimmins, News reporter

As social media becomes more and more prevalent in students’ lives, the WKU police department has shifted its focus to cultivating its own online presence.

The WKUPD has a wide array of social media accounts from which it disperses alerts, updates and any other information the department believes the public should know.

“We promote our department through social media, post Alerts or Updates, solve crimes, and deliver any other useful information to the campus community on social media,” Melissa Bailey, the public information officer for the WKUPD, shared via email.

Before the police department had a social media presence, it utilized the RAVE Mobile Safety system to send SMS text messages and emails to students and faculty members.

In addition to RAVE, the WKUPD also communicated by television stations.

“There are also 3 outdoor alerting systems that can be utilized for severe weather alerts,” Bailey said.

WKUPD’s online presence has led to more public awareness and involvement in current issues among students.

“Yes, there definitely is more public involvement and awareness,” Bailey said. “I think it also allows our agency to be transparent and inform the community about what is happening within our department, other areas of campus, and areas adjacent to campus.”

Reily Booker, a senior studying business management, follows WKUPD on both Instagram and Twitter. She also receives the department’s text alerts.

“I’ve gotten a lot of text alerts, but it varies,,” Booker said. “I see their cars all around campus too, it gives me a sense of security.”

The department’s mission is “to create a safe interactive environment that is conducive to learning,” according to its website

“WKU PD is about community policing and building those relationships with not only our campus community, but all citizens of Bowling Green, KY,” Bailey said.

For crime updates follow the WKUPD on Twitter @wkupd or on Instagram @wku_police.