Ocean County Police Blotter Page Reaches 12,000 in First Month
Toms River-(PR)–What started out as an idea on facebook has quickly grown to a community of over 12,000 in just over one month. In September, the publishers of JTOWN and Toms River Magazine launched a bold new initiative to inform Ocean County residents about growing concern of crime at the Jersey Shore, called “Ocean County Police Blotter“.
The page is a collection of public documents and reports from all of the county’s municipal police departments, the New Jersey State Police, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Departments, local fire companies and state and federal attorney general offices. Each day, fans of the page can see what’s going on in the underbelly of Ocean County and the surrounding area.
“After four years of publishing our local community publications in Jackson and Toms River, we felt branching out would be appropriate since residents in other towns frequently asked us, ‘when are you coming to OUR town?’, so we decided last month, now is a good time,” said Phil Stilton, editor of JTOWN Magazine. “It’s a natural progression in the growth of our services. We’re all about building communities and we have been building online communities since 1995. We first went to all of the local police departments and after seeing that they would be interested in participating, we went ahead with this. It’s a great way to really know what’s going on in our communities without the sensationalism normally found in the local news.”
Stilton says that the Ocean County Police Blotter fan page posts information received from local law enforcement agencies as is and unedited, aside from spelling and grammar checks. ”Who are we, as journalists to inject our own view on something we did not witness? We’re not out to sensationalize or make a bigger deal out of something than it is, it’s just about passing the word along to the public in a centralized location and to create awareness,” he said. “The community has also received this page well and it allows for residents to discuss the local events as they are reported. In some cases, I’ve been told, it has led to tips to help police departments find perpetrators, which is always a plus. If we can help our local law enforcement agencies in a time when budgets are spread thin and most have just had a mass exodus due to pension reform legislation, then that’s just a bonus for us.”
Since it’s creation in early September of 2012, the page, as of this report, has 12,881 ‘likes’. Aside from police blotter reports, the page also focuses on fire and emt operations in the county, public service announcements from both law enforcement and fire safety and supports local charities and fundraisers which benefit police, fire, emt and military service personnel in the county.
“I think our advantage here is that we’re an Ocean County based business and everyone who works with us and contributes are all life-long Ocean County residents. In the end, this page is about building a community, not building a business, that comes second for us. It’s a service the community needs and we don’t need to be fed regurgitated reports by global media companies on things that happen in our backyard. This is essentially, for locals, by locals, which is the overall theme of everything we do here,” Stilton, a lifelong resident of Toms River and Jackson, concluded. “Just like our community magazines, the OCPB is ‘Authentically Local’ and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
If your department or agency is interested in participating in the Ocean County Police Blotter, visit the page on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ocean-County-Police-Blotter/423813954320813?fref=ts.
The Ocean County Police Blotter is operated by Stilton Company, LLC of Jackson Township and is not affiliated in any way with any law enforcement agencies.