Social media's favorite ISP trooper
Social media’s favorite Illinois State Police trooper is changing the community’s perception of police one post at a time.
Follower, Britt Dahlin, has been following ISP District 10's Facebook page for about a year.
“It came at a time when police presence was unfavorable, so I feel like now [they] have a cute face and a name and Trooper Tracy behind it and it makes it a little better,” Dahlin said.
After taking over the reigns of District 10's social media accounts, Trooper Tracy Lillard has become a friendly face to many in Central Illinois.
“It’s very strange to me, it’s still strange,” Trooper Tracy said. “My kids have noticed it, when I’m out and about. The public sees me as the Illinois State Police whether I’m on or off duty.”
As District 10’s Safety Education Officer, Trooper Tracy uses social media to get the message out—speaking to her 45,000 followers in a language they know best.
“I started to put a fun spin on it just with humor and stories and traffic stops, and it just started growing,” she said.
In October 2017, Trooper Tracy discovered Snapchat and Snapchat filters, something that’s been a real game changer when it comes to catching the attention of teens.
“I went from being 41-year-old mom of three, you know like old lady, to 'Trooper Tracy’s on Snapchat?’”
She said the best part about Snapchat has been keeping in touch with students from her driver’s education classes.
“Now the kids will send me snaps and messages and seatbelt-selfies,” Trooper Tracy said.
Whether it’s Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or all of the above, it’s all about spreading safety awareness.
"Even if it's just 10 seconds, and they share or like it, then mission accomplished," she said.
Many of Trooper Tracy’s fans, like Dahlin, admit following the ISP Facebook page has made them a better and more cautious driver.
"I definitely don't want to be pulled over by her, because I feel like I kind of know her,” Dahlin said.
Beginning to see all law enforcement in a new light.
“We are normal people, we're normal like anybody else,” Trooper Tracy said. “We just happen to be police officers.”