The Coastal Packet: Community policing with humor

Monday, May 8

Community policing with humor

Lewiston-Aubrun Sun Journal, ME - Bangor Police Department Sgt. Tim Cotton has put the department on the map for its humor and goodwill. Share E-mail this story Print this story Save this story

Cotton is the humorous writer for the BPD's Facebook page. He started posting in 2014, later introducing the "Duck of Justice" mascot.

Media outlets from all over have since written about his funny FB posts, which have attracted thousands of followers. The page's "likes" outnumber the population of Bangor.

This year Cotton has traveled to Florida and Tennessee to meet with police departments and talk about how Bangor police connect with the public through social media and on the job.

"We need to be real and honest," Cotton said in an email, answering questions from the Sun Journal. "I hate the terminology that we need to show we are human. That should be assumed." Police officers should include, not seclude, themselves in the community, he said.

"Community policing doesn't need to be a catch phrase. It needs to be an action. We work hard at doing that here," Cotton said. "Facebook has opened us up for the world to see." But, it's a precarious position. "We need to be on guard all the time to avoid disappointing citizens."

The BPD's social media page promotes understanding by giving people insight into what police do, Cotton said.

"We had over 1,000 individuals stop by the police department last year just to visit, meet officers and talk about enjoying the page.

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