Police Commissioner Bill Bratton Joins Twitter, Follows No One

Categories: Bill Bratton

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Now that New York City's new (and old) police commissioner, Bill Bratton, has settled into his role, he is wasting no time checking the important things off his to-do list.

1) Address command staff at Compstat.

2) Tweet about it.

Bratton joined Twitter on Thursday. He's tweeting under the handle @CommissBratton.

In his first 24 hours the commissioner racked up 2,558 followers, so he's already got a better track record than Ray Kelly (who never joined the service), Fake Ray Kelly (334 followers) and Fire Ray Kelly (64 followers).

Bratton's predecessor was skeptical of social media. Last year, in response to questions about a local precinct's Twitter account, Kelly said, "Obviously, social media, we want to use it productively. We want to use it legally. A lot of this is just new ground. It needs to be examined, and that's what we're going to do."

It shouldn't be surprising that Bratton, who used his time away from public service to found a social network for cops called BlueLine Connect, is savvier. BlueLine Connect is only open to users who have an official law enforcement email address. According to cofounder David Riker, the service, which debuted in October, has more than 10,000 users in departments around the country.

See also: Bill Bratton Started a Cops-Only Social Network Called "BlueLine Connect"

Yesterday, Bratton called his joining Twitter "the start of a beautiful relationship," but so far, it doesn't seem to be much of a relationship at all. He is not following any other users -- not even his wife.

It's surprising, given the fact that BlueLine Connect has been promoted as a tool to facilitate collaboration between officers, that Bratton isn't trying to connect or collaborate with anyone else on Twitter, but maybe he's worried about his privacy. In an interview with the Voice last year, Riker explained that part of the reason BlueLine Connect exists in the first place is because other social networks don't "have security protections, et cetera, for individuals to guard their identity."

Send story tips to the author, Tessa Stuart

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