The Franklin, Mass., Police Department has joined the podcast revolution, becoming one of the first departments in the nation to use the hot new Internet technology to reach out to citizens. The podcast, called ”Franklin’s Finest,” is ”a little blast to people to say, ‘Hey, I think you should know about the other things’ ” that police do, said Officer Brian Johnson, a self-taught techie who manages the department’s website.
Podcasts are broadcasts that are distributed over the Internet, rather than over radio or TV airwaves. They are almost always audio programs, but they can also include video content. Most people with Internet connections in their homes or office can get them easily. Podcasts can be received by home computers and either played at home or uploaded to a portable digital audio player like an iPod. Franklin has taken the cue from the New York City Police Department in using free podcasts. One expert said podcasting is a low-cost, low-effort way that government agencies like police can further spread their message.