Everyone else is online, so the TPS is, too!

The Toronto Police Service will launch a new social media initiative Wednesday afternoon that will allow police officers to engage with the public they may not get to reach while on the daily beat.

The new strategy will integrate social media into the daily work life of police officers, in an effort to provide easy access to service.

In a video posted on TPS’s website, Chief Bill Blair said social media will allow police officers to provide better, more efficient service.

“Social media creates for us an extraordinary opportunity to reach more broadly into many, many communities and to provide us with a forum in which important discussion can take place.”

A pilot group of media relations members has undergone training and will represent Toronto police in the social media landscape.

By November, there will be 177 TPS members from 27 units, using corporate social media accounts with strict guidelines that will outline the appearance of the profile and its content. Each member will undergo training in a social media policy that integrates the Code of Conduct police officers must work within.

Toronto police will also unveil its newly-designed, user-friendly website at the launch, with all of its social media content embedded directly into the website.

Other additions to the website include allowing users to apply for a background check online. Recently, the force added a feature to the website where users could report crimes under $5, 000.

More features of the website will be revealed at the launch.

You can follow the announcement using the hashtag #TPSSMLaunch on Twitter. The launch will be live-streamed on the Toronto Police Ustream account here at 2 p.m.