RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police is expanding its digital footprint in the social media environment with the launch of an official Instagram account. The Virginia State Police account at instagram.com/virginia_state_police is now “live” on the photo-sharing app platform and at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, will feature as its first post – a sneak preview of the names selected for the Department’s two newest bloodhounds.
The Virginia State Police established itself on YouTube in 2009 and Facebook in 2010. A @VSPPIO Twitter page followed five years later. Today, the state police engage with more than 180,000 Facebook followers, approximately 13,500 Twitter followers and 1,500 YouTube viewers worldwide.
“Adding Instagram to the Virginia State Police social media portfolio enables us to reach a much greater audience with our key traffic safety messaging, crime prevention outreach, investigative alerts, and recruitment efforts…and, of course, more photos of our canines,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We look forward to engaging with the public via Instagram and sharing even more about the state police and our mission in service and safety to others.”
Instagram followers who connect with state police by 11 a.m. Thursday will be the first to find out the winning names for the 11-week-old brother and sister bloodhounds as pictured with Colonel Settle. In mid-November, state police invited the public to send in via Facebook their favorite names for the floppy-eared siblings. The Department’s K9 Training Unit deliberated the more than 3,300 pairs of suggested names and narrowed them down to five for final consideration. Just shy of 1,500 Facebook followers cast their votes and the winning pair of names will be revealed on all three state police social media platforms by noon Thursday.