News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
650-329-2607
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301

9/24/2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 09242013
Subject :

Jump on a Police Motorcycle for Our Next Twitter “Virtual Ride-Along”
Contact : Zach Perron, Lieutenant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Sergeant Ken Kratt
Palo Alto, CA -- The Palo Alto Police Department will be hosting its fifth "virtual ride-along" on Thursday, but this time, you're invited to climb on a police motorcycle and enforce traffic laws alongside our Traffic Team.

Starting at 7 a.m. on Thursday, September 26, 2013, and running until 4 p.m., the public will get to ride with Sergeant Ken Kratt, the supervisor of our Traffic Team.  A member of our Public Information Officer team will be live-tweeting Sergeant Kratt’s activity during the shift on the official Department Twitter account, @PaloAltoPolice.

The Palo Alto Police Department reinstated our stand-alone Traffic Team last month due to recently-increased staffing levels.  While all of our patrol officers enforce traffic laws as part of their normal shifts, they also have to handle other types of calls for service and have additional job responsibilities as well.  Our Traffic Team, though, is dedicated exclusively to traffic enforcement, accident investigation, and traffic education.

Not only will followers of Thursday’s event get insight into the realities of life as a motorcycle officer, but they also will enjoy the nice side benefit of knowing, in advance, where exactly in town Sergeant Kratt is working and what types of violations he is targeting at those locations.  At various times throughout the shift, Sergeant Kratt will likely be writing citations for speeding, red lights, stop signs, turn violations, cell phone / texting violations, seat belt violations, school zone violations, and pedestrian and bicycle violations.

All tweets will include our hashtag “PAPDvra” (for “Palo Alto Police Department virtual ride-along”).  Twitter users can ask us questions during the ride-along by using that hashtag or simply by mentioning us.  We estimate sending between 100 and 250 tweets during the nine-hour ride-along, depending on the volume of activity and the level of engagement with the public.  Some tweets will include educational information and facts about traffic enforcement.

This will be the fifth “virtual ride-along” via Twitter that the Department has done since November 2012, but it is our first one involving a motorcycle officer and having a focus on traffic enforcement.

A photo of Sergeant Kratt on his police motorcycle is attached to this release.

The Palo Alto Police Department launched all of its social media platforms in March 2012.  Since then, our Twitter account has gained more than 4,600 followers and our Facebook page has gained more than 4,300 “likes.”  Links to all our social media platforms can be found at www.cityofpaloalto.org/PAPDconnect.



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