POTTSVILLE, Ark. — The Pottsville Police Department has a knack for creating funny and engaging social media posts.
Their Facebook following is more than quadruple the size of the town’s population.
But why they do this goes beyond just getting a good chuckle.
“The biggest thing is getting a laugh out there in these times,” said Chief Joseph Paterak.
Paterak said these funny posts show a different side of the blue.
“It’s humanizing the badge, showing everybody we’re just like they are,” Paterak said.
A town of 2,800 people with a police department following of over 14,000 — the PD is putting Pottsville on the map.
“I’ve had people from England, Australia, contact us, talking to us, appreciate the page, some of the work we do,” Paterak said.
But more than recognition, it’s a new way to community police.
“Last year was tough because of the COVID,” Paterak said. “We can’t get out there anymore, so we mostly just took to Facebook.”
And their approach is working. The page helps them solve crime peacefully.
“And even if we go out and arrest somebody, we have a fan club,” Paterak said.
It’s been an effective recruiting tool and perhaps a lesson for other police departments, too.
“Put some jokes out there,” Paterak said. “Now, you got a lot of serious stuff to put out there, but it’s just getting out there with them and let them know you’re there for them.”
On the web, it’s just some silly jokes. One reached up to seven million people.
But behind the computer, 15 police officers are really doing all of this to protect and to serve.
The Pottsville Police Department said because their Facebook reach is so far, they’re able to help surrounding communities solve crime, too.