Osseo Police participate in Virtual Ride Along
Osseo Police are part of a statewide campaign to bring more attention to what police officers do on an average day. Officers are tweeting pictures all day with the hashtag #MNcopsVRA. The hashtag stands for Minnesota cops virtual ride-along.
Officer Anthony Mortinson is the face behind the Osseo Police Twitter and Facebook accounts. He’s posted and tweeted for the department for over a year and a half. However, this is the first time Osseo and other law enforcement agencies across the state are collectively posting on social media sites while they’re out on patrol.
Inside Osseo’s Virtual Ride-Along
We rode along with Osseo Police as they worked on Friday.
Our cameras were rolling when Officer Mortinson made a routine traffic stop along County Highway 81. After the official business was taken care of, the officer sent out a tweet, describing what happened. Mortinson said the driver didn’t realize he was driving so fast.
“I’m just going to give this guy a verbal warning and then we’ll let him go,” Mortinson explained.
He says technology is changing how the department connects with residents. If police want to alert people about a crime, they’ll often post on Twitter or Facebook. On August 5th, police were looking for a missing person, so officers sent out a tweet, hoping to reach a larger audience.
“It’s allowed us, as a police department to become closer to our citizens as well as others outside of the city of Osseo,” Mortinson said.
But Twitter posts aren’t always serious.
Officer Mortinson often shows a lighter side to his personality, like the time he thought a ghost was rolling up windows in the squad car.
“I want people to understand that cops are people, too.” he said.
An officer from Duluth spearheaded the virtual ride-along campaign. Besides education, the goal is to also gain media followers.
The virtual ride along started Friday at 6 a.m. and will wrap up Saturday at 6 a.m.