Lancaster City police using new method to reach community

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LANCASTER, Pa. -- Officers typically send out press releases and post to social media to spread their messages, but the Lancaster City Police Department is trying something new.

The department recently posted the first few videos to their YouTube channel, from a brand new television studio that was previously a closet.  It's all part of a partnership with Allstate. The insurance company spent about $7,000 on the project, providing everything from the camera to the training it takes to operate and post videos.

"They tried to anticipate all the needs we would have for production, as well as the lights that are in this studio," Sergeant Bill Hickey said.

Hickey said he got the inspiration for the studio from a conference he attended with other police departments across the nation.

"We both have a common goal of promoting safety and protecting people," Julia Reusch, an Allstate spokeswoman, said. "This is part of our effort in Pennsylvania to create custom programs that really cater to the needs of the community. We are depending on the police department to help let us know what those needs are and how we can address them."

Hickey said the new way of communicating will be an addition to how they already communicate with people. "We will still be doing press releases, but we want to add video to our repertoire to try to reach a bigger audience," he said.

The department plans to post videos on an array of topics, from crime prevention and trends to news conferences and highlighting officers within different departments.

"We want to give them that information and help prevent them from being victims, Hickey said.

Allstate also donated a speed trailer to the department at a value of $18,000. It will be used to caution drivers of their speeds and to display messages.

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