Both the Tehachapi Police Department and the Golden Hills Community Services District have created Facebook pages to give customers easier access to news and information.
Ed Kennedy, president of the GHCSD board explained, "Golden Hills Community Service District is focused on providing quality customer service. Our Facebook page gives our customers another tool to get news and information, as well as get in contact with board members with questions and comments."
Currently GHCSD operates an official website at GHCSD.com, and produces a quarterly newsletter that is distributed online and with mailed billing statements. While these forms of communications have been effective, members of the GHCSD board say they are looking to reach higher levels of community involvement and engagement. They chose a Facebook page for this task because of its low cost and the ability for customers to interact with the page on their terms, they said.
"This Facebook page will not replace any of our current forms of communication. It will compliment them," said Kennedy.
Those interested in visiting the GHCSD Facebook page can go to facebook.com/GoldenHillsCSD. Customers are encouraged to "like" the page to subscribe to it. Customers are also able to communicate with the GHCSD by sending a message to the page.
The Golden Hills CSD recently hired the services of public relations firm, Passantino Andersen, to facilitate more communication between the CSD and its constituents, which is costing the district $3,800 per month.
The Tehachapi Police Department has also taken to social media as a way of bettering public outreach.
Sergeant Kevin Empey said the page -- which has garnered close to 1,000 "likes" since the end of December -- will hopefully attract citizen assistance in cracking down on crime in the area. Eventually, Sgt. Empey said, the page will also be used to post crime trends and deliver safety tips to the public. "It's just another way to try and connect with the community," Empey said.
Police Chief Jeff Kermode told City Council members at their last meeting on Tuesday, Jan.21, that monitoring local social media accounts has helped the department develop leads but also debunk certain rumors that sprout up online.
"We're trying to push more information out there, and make sure that what is out there is credible information," Kermode said.