"We are thrilled with how NYPD commanders are embracing Twitter," NYPD Deputy Commissioner Zach Tumin tweeted on Saturday. The next day, the Commanding Officer of Harlem's 25th Precinct, Captain Thomas Harnisch, tweeted a link to a story about a subway fatality at Union Square to Transportation Alternatives: "Let me guess, driver's fault right?"
The initial tweet came from his personal account, but from his official account, Captain Harnisch continued to goad TransAlt and Right of Way activist Keegan Stephan.
— Keegan Stephan (@KeeganNYC) July 13, 2014
— Steve Vaccaro (@BicyclesOnly) July 13, 2014
A scan of Captain Harnisch's personal Twitter account reveals a similar lack of foresight:
This is the same department that frequently uses the dumb things teenagers tweet to make arrests.
Deputy Commissioner Tumin, who runs the NYPD's new social media strategy, has not returned our request for comment, but Stephan says that Tumin apologized for his subordinate's behavior.
— Zach Tumin (@ZachTumin) July 14, 2014
Since Commissioner Bill Bratton took over, the NYPD has been engaging with citizens on social media in a seemingly productive, direct way.
@K_Liakos you 100% deserve 2know, and that is NOT appropriate behavior. I will send ppl out to check on this. Do you have names? Folw4dm
— Philip Banks III (@NYPDChiefBanks) July 11, 2014
Other posts made by cops are more akin to the Facebook activity of your obnoxious uncle, retweeting a Donald Trump comment about gun control or posting that hilarrrrrrious poop joke under the imprimatur of the country's largest municipal law enforcement body.
— Meredith (@Meredith_El) July 10, 2014
Some of the hilarity is clearly from lack of experience with the medium.
Pls. visit or call at least one senior during rising temp. Elderly people do not adjust well to sudden temp. change. pic.twitter.com/2MDJOgaMSY
— NYPD Housing PSA 6 (@NYPDPSA6) July 1, 2014
If you see something on NYPD Twitter, say something: firstname.lastname@example.org
[UPDATE // 5:30 PM]
Sincere apologies 4 insensitive & unprofessional tweets. Not how I was raised, trained, have served. Will work 2 restore trust/confidence.
— NYPD 25th Precinct (@NYPD25Pct) July 14, 2014