To tweet, or not to tweet? In CPD’s Shakespeare District, there’s no question
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Actually kind of funny.
Four words you probably wouldn’t associate with a Twitter account run by the Chicago Police.
But the 14th District — also known as the Shakespeare District — has developed an undeniable sense of humor.
One recent tweet:
“We’ve had numerous calls to our District station to inquire about the whereabouts of the missing “Spring” season here in Chicago. Our investigation is ongoing.”
An accompanying GIF features Luke Skywalker looking though binoculars.
The 14th District police station patrols Northwest Side neighborhoods including Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, Avondale and Humboldt Park.
Here’s another one explaining why the district bears the name of a 16th-century author:
“Each District is numbered and has a name. Ours is Shakespeare because we have the most poetic Officers.
“Roses are red
Violets are blue
You have the right to remain silent
Wait, that wasn’t good It’s because we are located at the intersection Shakespeare + California Ave”
Another tweet expresses an affinity for Steven Seagal movies filmed in Chicago and notes that scenes for “Above the Law” were shot in Wicker Park.
The tweets, of course, are interspersed with information regarding more traditional police matters, such as reports of missing persons and community warnings.
A glance at Twitter accounts run by several of the other 21 police districts in Chicago show a much more sober approach to social media.
The gregarious cop behind the lighthearted content is Officer Tom McNamara — a self-proclaimed Star Wars nerd and ’90s action flick fanatic who regularly mines comedic material from a calendar of peculiar holidays.
Earlier this week, to celebrate National Twinkie Day, he Tweeted an image of a cop in the movie “Die Hard” carrying a bunch of Twinkies to a convenience store counter.
Around the police station, McNamara is perhaps best known for participating in the NBC television show “American Ninja Warrior” in 2014.
He advanced to the fifth obstacle, where he lost his grip on the “Devil Steps” and fell into a pool of cold water.
Some colleagues also know him as “Safety Tip Tom” — an equal parts ruthless and loving moniker derived from a series of videos posted to a police Facebook page that feature McNamara offering safety advice.
“I don’t mind goofing around and putting myself out there,” said McNamara, who grew up near Midway Airport and is a second-generation Chicago cop.
McNamara, a 12-year veteran beat cop, was tapped by Shakespeare District Commander Fabian Saldana a few weeks ago to focus on lending some personality to the Twitter account.
“If using some humor to get people looking at our account to see the information we’re trying get out there is what it takes, it’s a win-win situation,” said McNamara, 37.
The strategy seems be working. At last glance, the growing account has 5,536 followers and interactions with followers are up.
McNamara, who’s married with two kids and lives on the Northwest Side, describes his humor style as “very, very cheesy dad cop.”
“Hopefully it puts a smile on someone’s face,” he said.