The Saskatchewan, Canada, RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) got a bit of a surprise when they logged into Facebook on Friday afternoon.
As is, they probably don't receive too many invitations to parties that aren't framed as calls to 911 -- and the invitation to attend an underage frosh party in Lumsden was probably a first.
According to CBC News, the Mounties responded with typical Canadian politeness, indicating that they'd be bringing "chips and salsa and a choice of possible charges for the party goers," according to a rather tongue-in-cheek post on their Facebook page.
They even included a picture of the bowl of chips, being helpfully modeled by a uniformed officer in front of a squad car.
The full post reads as follows.
"Thanks for the invite to the underage frosh party in the #Lumsden area on Saturday night.As of this writing, the post has received over 6,000 likes and over 3,000 shares.
Lumsden #RCMP will bring chips and salsa and a choice of possible charges for the party goers, including:
• Open liquor - $250• Underage drinking - $360• Littering – $250• Providing liquor to a minor - $1050
Or you can make the smart choice and avoid meeting our officers!Stay safe. ^mm"
Of course, as RCMP spokesperson Eilidh Thain told News Talk 980, the RCMP hadn't actually received an invite.
"We had seen or got notifified (sic) that there was going to be an underage frosh party somewhere in the Lumsden area on Saturday night and often with those underage parties, there is underage drinking, there can be drinking and driving, a variety of things... so we decided we wanted to sort of educate the public.Police and other emergency services are turning to Facebook and Twitter more and more to connect with their communities. Users of social media are often able to "witness" local events live, rather than wait for a news broadcast or morning paper, and emergency responders are better able to control situations and connect with the public.
This really connects with people because that's how they communicate, that's how they share, and they interact with us quite a bit on our social media website."
In fact, police forces today are often turning to Twitter first to disseminate important information, including suspect descriptions, requests for locals to avoid a location if possible, traffic accidents and more. So, it should come as no surprise to see them using social media as a way to connect with potential lawbreakers as well, but it's still a fairly novel concept.
Meanwhile, our Mountie hats are off to the Saskatchewan RCMP for their very Canadian community policing.
[Photo courtesy of the Saskatchewan RCMP / Facebook]