Law enforcement agencies are turning to social media to connect with the people they serve. Police departments, sheriff’s officers and the Missouri State Highway Patrol have all posted clips on their Facebook and Twitter pages to show their personality.

“I think social media helps humanize us. We’re not just a faceless entity out there,” said MSHP spokesman Sgt. Scott White.

He said people on the road are grateful for the frequent tweets and posts.

The highway patrol’s public information department coordinated a Christmas light show with the trooper vehicles. The flashy display served as a reminder to turn on headlights, drive sober and use seatbelts.

“Anything we can do, any tool that we have to use in that endeavor, we’re going to use,” White said.

Agencies are also joining online challenges that have gone viral. Columbia police officers recorded 22 days of 22 pushups to bring awareness to veteran suicides.

Officers did their own spin of the Mannequin Challenge internet trend. They posed like frozen mannequins while carrying out of some of their ordinary responsibilities.

One Moberly police officer was recently caught on camera slipping on ice. The police department shared the surveillance video as a warning to everyone going outside in the dangerous weather conditions.

The Callaway County Sheriff’s Department posted a video of its deputies having a conversation with some turkey’s that showed up at the station. “Tom the Turkey” became internet famous as a result.

To celebrate Employee Appreciation Day and the Cole County Sheriff Department’s Pie in the Face event, Lt. Sneller and Sgt. Gertiz took their turn getting pied, all in front of the camera.

White said social media lets law enforcement agencies a whole new way to connect with the people they serve.

“Many years ago, maybe law enforcement wouldn’t have thought about that, but we realize that it’s a very important aspect of what we do now,” he said.

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By: Shelby Lofton, KOMU 8