While many media resources use Twitter to spread stories quickly, journalists and other individuals who want to know about breaking news might discover another resource closer to the action. If you follow some of the top fifty cops and crimefighters on Twitter listed below, you may learn about news even before major media outlets.
The list below is categorized, and the links are listed by their current popularity (the number of followers) within each category. Each linked resource also must have updated their page within the previous 48 hours before this article was written (as of Dec 9, 2009), and must have more than 750 followers. Therefore, no matter how popular the site, if it is not updated, that user did not make the list.
- Boston Police: This police department Tweets crime alerts and emergency notifications in real time (9,718 followers).
- Baltimore Police: This is the official site of the Baltimore Police Department, which offers updated Tweets about police activity (5,417 followers).
- Milwaukee Police: Discover up-to-date an accurate information on how this police department is fighting “crime, fear and disorder in the community.” (3,274 followers).
- Seattle Police Department: This site is used for police news and events out of Seattle, Washington (3,164 followers).
- NYPD News: Follow the New York City Police Department’s Tweets about traffic advisories, safety tips and news coming from that institution (2,780 followers).
- Calgary Police: Calgary, AB, Canadian police use their Tweets to inform readers about local events, rather than encounters with crime. But, they remain popular (2,060 followers).
- Richmond Police: Located in Virginia, this police department provides local news, advice and updates (2,026 followers).
- Modesto Police: Located in California, this police department provides updated police activity, alerts and news (1,964 followers).
- Denver Police Department: Stay up to date on Denver police news, alerts and other items (such as the fact that it is illegal to spit in public in Denver) on this site (1,879 followers).
- Boca Raton Police: This Florida police department provides police updates as well as news items for the Boca Raton area (1,799 followers).
- Mountain View Police: This California police department provides news, updates, alerts and advice to local residents (1,671 followers).
- Portland Police: Located in Oregon, this police bureau is dedicated to providing updated resources to Portland residents (1,645 followers).
- Schenectady Police: This New York state police department provides news, alerts and updates through this site (1,598 followers).
- Boynton Beach Police: Follow this Florida police team to learn about about their local crime and news alerts (1,492 followers).
- West Midlands Police: This is an automated service out of West Midlands, England, that provides readers with latest appeals and press releases (1,352 followers).
- Longview Police: This Texas police department stays on top of local traffic issues (1,301 followers).
- Naples Police Department: The Naples, Florida police and fire departments share this page, which brings daily activities and alerts to readers (1,305 followers).
- GM Police: Located in greater Manchester, England, this site focuses on community policing, crime prevention, community safety, police reports and more (1,259 followers).
- Texas A&M Police: This police department is located at the Texas A&M College at College Station, Texas. They provide updates on suspicious persons and more at this site (1,210 followers).
- Anne Arundel Police: Located in Maryland, this crime-fighting unit Tweets about local arrests, reported crime, news and alerts (1,183 followers).
- Franklin Police: This Massachusetts police department uses Twitter to update readers on their posted police logs (1,110 followers).
- Bolingbrook Police: Located in Illinois, this official site provides updates and alerts for local citizens (941 followers).
- Mount Pleasant PD: Based in South Carolina, this coastal police department Tweets about news and traffic problems (838 followers).
The list below contains individuals who currently work in civilian and/or military law enforcement or criminal justice. Retired police are not included, as most of those folks are following new paths.
- Christian Elliott: This human rights activist works with law enforcement agencies, governments and NGOs to help resuce victims of human trafficking and slavery (14,263 followers).
- Eric Robi: Follow this guy around and you may learn more about computer forensics at the Federal Forensics Group in Los Angeles (10,511 followers).
- Police Notes: A law enforcement officer located in Florida Tweets updates while on the job (2,607 followers).
- Oklahoma Co. Sheriff: Great tweets that provide updates on sobriety check points and more news in this Oklahoma region (1,901 followers).
- SafetySecurity: Personal safety and crime zvoidance training offered here, along with alerts, news and other tidbits (1,717 followers).
- AfghanOldBlue: Read Tweets from an Afghan veteran, NCO with 27 years of service and who was an embedded advisor with the Afghan National Police in ’07 and ’08 (1,664 followers).
- Scott White: This Twitter user puts “Christian” before police officer and doesn’t tweet much about police work, but he has a good following (1,472 followers).
- Larry Mazur: Known as “Halo 7,” this user is USC, US Navy, LA Police, United Nations-EOD, DHS Counter Terrorist Specialist and an Iron Man Triathlon competitor (1,244 followers).
- dps782: This guy is a senior tour director, San Antonio Police Department PST and CPA. He also likes to golf (1,227 followers).
- philthethrill: “Police officer with stories to share.” Join this Twitter user to learn more about his escapades (776 followers).
- FBI Press Office: Although billed as a “press” service, this Federal Bureau of Investigation service provides updated and pertinent information that hits this page as soon as it hits the media (15,958 followers).
- Helen Li: CleverSpy is all about reverse records finding, criminal records check and court records searches (10,587 followers).
- Net Detective: This Twitter user represents a record search and background check service (9,608 followers).
- Eagle Investigative: A private detective investigative service located in Atlanta, George, provides problem-solving ideas for individuals and corporations (6,743 followers).
- Cons Helping Cons: Located out of Nova Scotia, Canada, this group uses Twitter to talk about crime prevention and self-help (6,356 followers).
- Robert A. Crutchfield: Robert is a fire department chaplain in Texas who Tweets about Christianity as well as about first responders (5,003 followers).
- Toronto Police Traffic Services: Updates on local road conditions, enforcement issues and more (3,575 followers).
- Toronto Police Media: Toronto continues to lead the police news game with this site, unaffiliated with the Toronto Police Department (2,476 followers).
- InstantAmber: This is a child safety service that aids families and law enforcement agencies in the recovery of missing children (2,272 followers).
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: This is a global effort to fight illicit drugs and international crime (2,069 followers).
- Scan Sacramento: Located in California, this Twitter user provides public safety alerts for major police and fire incidents in that area (1,969 followers).
- Carrolltrust: The UK HM Inland Revenue and Customs is completing an exhaustive investigation into the rapid break-up and liquidation of a multi-national industrial and philanthropic conglomerate (1,676 followers).
- CHIEFsupply: This group caters to law enforcement nationwide with news and information on new services and products. You can be the first to learn about new camo being tested in Afghanistan, for instance (1,547 followers).
- Houston Police: This unofficial Texas police Tweets all major accidents within Houston (1,488 followers).
- 1800222TIPS: Once again, a Toronto, Canada site that offers Crime Stopper information as well as a conduit for legal graffiti art for youth (1,378 followers).
- PoliceOne: This Twitter user’s mission is to provide officers with information and resources that make them better able to protect their communities and stay safer on the streets (1,318 followers).
- OfficerCom: This is a police source, providing news and information for the law enforcement community (806 followers).