Yesterday afternoon, an SPD officer going by “GoHawks206” jumped on Reddit and unexpectedly opened up an Ask Me Anything session:
“I can’t speak on behalf of the department as a whole or as any kind of representative. The answers are simply my personal opinions and experiences,” the anonymous officer wrote.
“Policy says we aren’t supposed to speak to the Media but the way it’s worded it doesn’t seem to include sites like Reddit.”
The officer posted a photo of their SPD Badge with “AMA” written on it as proof, and soon after, nearly 400 comments came flooding in.
Fresh on many commentors’ minds was The Stranger’s recent post about an incident with SPD that called out aggressive attitudes towards being filmed or photographed.
“I just act like I’m always being filmed,” the anonymous officer said. “Between people with cell phones, my in-car camera, the news, and security cameras I’m pretty much always on tape.”
“I don’t know the SPD officer involved. We were talking about this at work though. Officers know the public is allowed to film them. I wonder what the whole exchange was between the SLOG guy and the officer.”
Another popular question: what’s the real deal with weed now?
The anonymous officer won points with Reddit for their cavalier answers.
“I never bothered with marijuana. We’ve had that “lowest priority” thing for a while.”
“We still get calls about people smoking in public. I just ask them to do it elsewhere.”
The rest of the conversation veers from opinions on Phoenix Jones (“a little silly”) to praise of the Involuntary Treatment Act, a new State bill that allows officers to send the mentally ill to hospitals for evaluation rather than to jail.
Seattle Weekly is waiting to hear back from SPD on reactions to the unauthorized AMA, but it seems from Twitter that the department is getting behind it. SPD’s official Twitter retweeted the Reddit post with the addition “Srsly tho, the AMA answers a lot of the q’s we get on Twitter. We’re working on new policies to encourage more engagement like this.”