HORRY COUNTY, (WMBF) - If you want an opportunity to have an up-close and personal look at what officers deal with every day, a local department is doing it in a unique way, all you need is your phone.
The Horry County Police Department started a new social media initiative called "Tweet from the Beat." It's basically a virtual reality tour from your Twitter to see what the officers go through on their day-to-day shift.
Officers said people don't understand what a day in the life of the police is all about. So they want to get residents involved and even maybe help them solve crimes.
The initiative can also be a way to showcase new areas throughout the county that people may not know. On the weekends, a different officer will tweet what's happening during his or her shift from the Central Precinct.
The department hopes to fit in one more by the end of the year, but in 2018 it wants to Tweet from the Beat quarterly with one officer from all four precincts.
This initiative was Horry County Spokeswoman Krystal Dotson's idea. She said there's a lot of interesting things that take place in departments across the county. So, she thought this would be a unique way to welcome the community in to the Horry County Police Department, but see it from a different point of view.
"Obviously, we cannot have officers everywhere all the time. So, it's important we empower our community to know what we're looking for, who we're looking for and the way they can help, being the eyes and ears of the police department," said Krystal Dotson.
Last weekend was a trial run, but since residents exceeded the department's expectation, it's going to continue this effort. Police said people who live in Horry County were still up until 3 a.m. commenting and retweeting.
Questions varied but some people asked about when someone needs to change their driver's license if they are new to area. Others wanted to know crime stats for a particular neighborhood, or if an officer ever had to give Narcan to anyone.
Officers tweeting were also able to share tips from normal dispatch calls. For example, an officer had a domestic violence call and needed to get to a location quickly, so he tweeted a safety tip saying if you're being approached move over quickly to the right side of road.
Dotson said this initiative has generated a lot of questions and opportunities for them to address concerns from the community.
"We just think it's important in today's day and age and across the country for community residents to really see what the men and women deal with every day when they're in those cars when their out in the community when they have on that uniform. And this was a great way for us to showcase that," Dotson said.
If you want to join in on the fun, make sure you're following the Horry County Police Department's Twitter so you don't miss the chance to ask any questions you have and hear the latest about what's going in the community.
There, they'll announce the next time they'll Tweet from the Beat.