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Fargo Police uses Periscope to show virtual ride along with officers

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Fargo Police are trying out a new high-tech tactic, but it's not a weapon or security measure. Now, anyone around the world can go on a ride along with Fargo Police and meet the officers just by logging onto your smartphone or computer.

Officer Jessica Schindeldecker/Fargo Police, "It's just another way for people to connect with us."

This week, the department began testing a new app called Periscope. The live video stream connects through Twitter and anyone following Fargo PD, or using the Periscope app, can see the live broadcast. Viewers can even like, comment and pose questions in real time.

David Oyinloye/Fargo, "If I had questions, you know, if the app was there and it's a tool to be used, why not? I'd probably give it a try."

With the new technology, viewers from around the world can tune in to see what's happening right here in Fargo.

Officer Schindeldecker, "What's interesting is that people are interested in what law enforcement is doing. And there's a lot of people who have our backs. And they want to see us safe and they want to see how we interact with the community."

At a time when police and community relationships are straining...

Omar Barajas/Minot, "It's a perfect time to get closer to the civilian population and align better on what the goals of the city are."

Fargo Police say they could use Periscope as a tool to build trust.

Officer Schindeldecker, "This is just another form of accountability."

While police are still testing the app's capabilities, they want the public to know it's not meant for publicly shaming law breakers.

Officer Schindeldecker, "We're not here trying to demean people or put their face out there. We're trying to show how we interact with the community in a positive way."

Interacting and explaining those interactions.

Officer Schindeldecker, "That's why we're here. It's not just for tickets. We're here because we're trying to slow people down. We're trying to keep our pedestrians safe."

You can find previous Periscope videos, and see live ones, in the @FargoPolice Twitter feed. The Periscope app is available in app stores for Android and iPhone users.

Catherine Ross

Catherine joined the WDAY 6 News team as a reporter and photographer in April of 2014 and is honored to bring you stories from around the Red River Valley. She grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis and got her first taste of the news industry during a high school mentorship at Fox 9 in the Twin Cities. Catherine graduated from Emerson College in Boston where she participated in the student-run TV station WEBN and spent a semester in Washington, DC working at Voice of America. Those opportunities gave her a front-row seat to the 2012 Presidential election cycle, reporting at the Iowa Caucuses, Republican National Convention and President Obama’s second inauguration. Now happy to be back closer to family, Catherine enjoys exploring the nature and culture of the upper Midwest. She’s an avid runner, novice foodie and lifelong Twins fan. If you have any story ideas or just want to say hello, Catherine would love to hear from you!

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