The folks in Union Hill started an interesting campaign on Twitter three months ago. They began calling out drug dealers in the neighborhood to Richmond Police via the popular social medium. As a result, they were also calling out Richmond Police for not paying enough attention to their neighborhood. The messages that hit the internet were often colorful and frankly, honest.
Here are a few examples of the tweets….
“Black SUV at 900 block of 24th owned by known dealer.”
“Known dealer hanging out at the corner of 24th/M White shirt/white jeans/white hat.”
“ Lots of car and foot traffic to the green/white crack house near 24th/M. Come back and visit again today.”
They neighbors sharing this twitter account have asked to remain anonymous, as it’s dangerous to be calling out illegal activity. It could be the first known twitter campaign in the world to take on drug dealers…. I can’t find another like it through searches on twitter, but who knows?
About 45 days into the campaign, Richmond Police and its chief did a walk through of the neighborhood. Unfortunately, police denied it had anything to do with the twitter campaign. I know for a fact, police were well aware of it, as was Richmond Crimesolvers. That organization actively began planning ways to reach out and help the residents in Union Hill with their problem.
Either way, it appears Richmond Police have stepped up their presence and it seems to be making a difference. The anonymous tweeters posted this message today…. “Richmond Police we can’t say it enough, your noticeably increased presence is appreciated and effective!”