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American Fork police post patrol enforcement locations on social media

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 20 2014 10:55 p.m. MDT

The American Fork Police Department is posting in advance on social media where they will run their speed enforcement. They say if it will slow drivers down, then they have done their job. They gave a few warnings and citations Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014.

Sam Penrod, Deseret News

AMERICAN FORK — The American Fork Police Department is posting on Facebook and Twitter where its officers will be running enforcement.

Police say it’s their job is to keep the streets safe, so if posting on Facebook and Twitter (@afpolice) where officers are looking for speeders gets people to slow down, they say it will be a success.

Tuesday night and again Wednesday morning, police announced they would be patrolling in the area of Forbes Elementary School, 281 N. 200 East, and conducting crosswalk enforcement.

On the second day of school, American Fork Police Sgt. Cameron Paul didn't have to wait long to catch drivers speeding in the school zone.

And violators couldn't say they hadn't been warned. The police department had already posted exactly when and where officers would be running radar.

"Please follow us on Twitter, and you might find out where we are at on a certain day and you might save you a few dollars on a fine,” Lt. Sam Liddiard said.

But officers say this isn't about getting followers or making friends on social media. It's about adding visibility to where police are patrolling.

"We've tried to explain to people that our officers are out there working anyway. They are watching certain areas for speeders, like today in a school zone, and those are places we are normally at,” Liddiard said.

At police headquarters, Debra Hale posts the time and place of the patrol enforcements on Facebook and Twitter.

"So the sergeants and lieutenants will provide me with the directed patrols that they are going to be doing in the city, and I post the information online,” Hale said.

And in just a couple of weeks, there is much more interaction with citizens.

"A lot of people have retweeted our posts, and we have had a couple of comments from people happy we are doing the extra patrols,” Hale said.

And with school back in session, many drivers are having to be reminded to slow down in the school zones the hard way. Police say it's OK if they don't write as many tickets, if social media posts encourage safer drivers.

"If we can get 100 people to slow down or get people to pay better attention to kids as they are walking through the school zones while they are going to school, then the police department feels like we have accomplished what we are trying to do,” Liddiard said.

Paul said he did give some warnings but issued citations to drivers going over 30 mph in the school zone.

Email: spenrod@deseretnews.com

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