The Eatonville Police Department is now live on Facebook this week. You can view it at https://www.facebook.com/eatonvillepd/?modal=admin_todo_tour.

"We're excited to launch Eatonville Police Department's official Facebook page, " said police chief Jason Laliberte. "This is where you'll find accurate and timely public safety information for the Town of Eatonville. Stay tuned... we're also launching our Instagram and Twitter profiles soon. Be sure to follow us and help us spread the word. #EPD.

The Eatonville City Council passed a resolution authorizing the service at its June 24 meeting, according to police chief Jason Laliberte. He’s wanted to bring social media to the Eatonville Police Dept. since he became chief in April.

“I’m excited about the future of our department and connecting with our citizens,” Laliberte said in a video accompanying the debut of EPD’s Facebook Page. “Social media has made it easier than ever to quickly disseminate emergency information to the public. It also removes communication barriers between us and the community.”

Whether it’s a crime alert or a success story, social media is a conduit to allow better communication. He’s had previous experience working with social media through the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

“The social media pages don’t have a way to report crimes or incidents online — yet. But they do allow the community a new way to communicate with police in a non-emergency situation, like a neighborhood issue.

“If there’s an emergency, people need to call 9-1-1,” he told the Dispatch. “But if it’s not and they don’t necessarily want to call our non-emergency number, they can use social media.”

And social media opens new channels for the police to communicate to the public besides crimes.

“We can put out a friendly reminder that kids are out and about on the streets, or remind bike readers to wear helmets,” Laliberte said. “It’s good for any kind of public message, like making people aware of our Neighborhood Night Out.”

The department worked with Heather Songer, Eatonville’s social media volunteer, to design the social media platforms. Songer volunteered her time in addition to a full-time media relations position with a state agency.