"New territory for us:" Police agencies take part in 'virtual ride-along' during OWI patrols

SHEBOYGAN -- On Sunday night, November 22nd, there were likely a lot of people looking to celebrate a Green Bay Packers win. That's great -- as long as they made sure to arrange a safe ride home. Sheboygan police on Sunday evening decided to host their first "virtual ride-along."

Sheboygan Police Department

Here's how it works: Those who are following the Sheboygan Police Department on Twitter receive a sort of "behind-the-scenes" look at what one squad car was taking part in on Sunday evening.

The idea is for officers to be transparent about what they're doing, in the hopes of stopping drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.

On a football Sunday, November 22nd, police agencies converged in Sheboygan for OWI patrols. Their plans weren't a secret. In fact, they want the public to know what they're doing and where they'll be.

Sheboygan Police Department "virtual ride-along"

The effort includes live-tweeting the night as it unfolds.

"Hopefully the education component will kick in and we won`t have to arrest anyone for OWI tonight," Sheboygan Police Sgt. Joel Kuszynski said.

Riding along with Officer Brandon Kehoe was crime analyst Mary Danen.

Sheboygan Police Department "virtual ride-along"

"This is kind of new territory for us," Danen said.

Officer Kehoe conducted traffic stops and handed out pamphlets while Danen updated Twitter with what police were busy doing -- and even offering the public advice.

Sheboygan Police Department "virtual ride-along"

"Providing back up if you`re feeling buzzed and you`re like, over the .08 BAC limit," Danen said.

This was Sheboygan's first "virtual ride-along."

"Not everyone sees what we do on a regular basis. This kind of a more interactive way for them to figure out hey, this is what we`re doing," Kehoe said.

And they're not just tweeting.

Bar officials were told in advance about this OWI patrol, and officers wore reflective vests in an effort to be as visible as possible.

Sheboygan Police Department "virtual ride-along"

"I guess the benefit is educating people, hey, we`re out there we`re looking for drunk drivers maybe if they`ve only had one or two drinks instead of chancing it and driving they`re going to find a safe ride home," Kuszynski said.

Sheboygan Police Department "virtual ride-along"

CLICK HERE to access Sheboygan police on Twitter.