By Rikki King
Here are police and fire Twitter accounts worth following, both in Snohomish County and around the country.
In no particular order:
1. Washington State Patrol Trooper Keith Leary aka @wspd7pio
You might recognize Leary as the trooper most often quoted in The Herald. He started tweeting recently, mostly for updates on serious crashes. Leary is the WSP spokesman for the area between the Snohomish-King county line and the Canadian border.
2. Snohomish County Fire District 17 Commissioner Bill Gillam aka @billgillam
He’s a fire service insider, techie and scanner-head. He sees and hears police and fire activity out in east county before a lot of people do.
3. Everett Police Sgt. Robert Goetz aka @everettpolice
Sgt. Goetz tweets big, breaking police news within Everett city limits. His tweets help media filter out the false alarms. Plus, it’s courageous for a larger agency to try out social media as a means of sharing information while it’s still largely uncharted territory.
4. Monroe Fire Marshal Mike Fitzgerald aka @monroefire
One of the leading fire department tweeters in the county, Fitzgerald sometimes sends out updates on fires in Monroe and the surrounding area, as well as public safety-related news and fire prevention info. If I see smoke in the valley, I check his page.
5. Mukilteo Police Officer Cheol Kang aka @mukilteopolice
Kang is a crime prevention officer and one of the local safety gurus we turn to for stories about seasonal hazards and home security. He tweets about police, fire and safety news out of Mukilteo.
6. Daron Johnson aka @SnoCo_Scanner
A longtime scanner-head who often alerts the world to fires, shootings and other breaking news in the county.
7. State transportation officials aka @wsdot_traffic
Arguably the best way to check Twitter for details on backups, road closures and traffic hazards.
8. Sal LaBarbera aka @LAMurderCop
The LAPD homicide supervisor is one of the most honest police officers on Twitter right now. It’s gotten him and his department some trouble, but it’s refreshing to see someone of rank not afraid to describe the job in real time. It creates a dialogue with the community, and people seem to dig it.
9. PoliceOne.com aka @PoliceOne
General police-related news and aggregation.
10. Monster aka @WaSnowpocalypse
A meme that hasn’t died yet. This fictional critter spends all winter laughing maliciously over bad weather and taunting the media that cover it. Sometimes, the shtick gets old, but it’s usually good for a laugh.
Also, don’t forget to follow The Herald at @EverettHerald. I sometimes tweet breaking police and fire news once it’s confirmed, but before I’ve had time to write a piece for the web.