Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Crime

Pasco Sheriff’s Office copyrights its nationally known ‘9 p.m. routine’

Copyrighting a key part of the agency’s social media presence isn’t meant to limit its reach, the office said, but rather to stop bad actors.
The "#9pmroutine" is a core social media feature for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Now, the agency has a copyright on it. [Facebook]
Published Nov. 14

Run a search for “#9pmroutine” on Twitter and it might seem a fool’s errand to ascribe ownership to any one account. On Wednesday night, for example, the reminder to lock houses and cars for the night showed up on the feeds of law enforcement agencies in Eugene, Ore., and Abbotsford, British Columbia; in Frisco, Texas, and Lincoln, Neb.; in small Lawrenceville, Ga., and of the New York Police Department’s 77th Precinct.

But as of late last month, state records show, the 9 p.m. routine hashtag is copyrighted by the agency that started it, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office started using the phrase in nightly posts in 2016, and it was quickly adopted by other agencies around the country. As the Sheriff’s Office’s robust social media presence has ballooned since then — thanks in large part to a long stint on the enormously popular and somewhat controversial TV show Live PD — it has been picked up by more than 100 agencies around the country, said Chase Daniels, an assistant executive director at the Sheriff’s Office.

Those other agencies aren’t why the Sheriff’s Office’s legal team decided to pursue a copyright earlier this year, Daniels said. But given the hashtag’s popularity, the agency wanted to protect itself against possible bad actors.

“By no means do we want to stop the spread of this,” Daniels said. “It’s a very important crime prevention method ... What we don’t want to see is people starting to profit off the 9 p.m. routine.”

Related: Pasco deputies step away from their feature role on A&E’s ‘Live PD.’ But they may be back.

By way of example, Daniels noted GoFundMe campaigns he has seen that purport to fund crime protection and use the hashtag to drum up contributions. He said the copyright would also provide extra protection for the Sheriff’s Office if someone were to use the hashtag as part of a criminal enterprise, such as a nominal crime protection company that’s actually a theft front.

The 9 p.m. routine is a core part of a social media gameplan that has evolved over the past few years, Daniels said. It has been a constant as the agency’s social media team has taken to new tactics and platforms — including Snapchat and TikTok — and shied away from other types of posts. He said the Sheriff’s Office posts mugshots less often than it used to, and that it stopped posting on-scene arrest photos after its “Sad Criminal of the Day” feature came under fire as being exploitative.

Related: As its social media grows, Pasco Sheriff’s Office posts photo of man crying after his arrest

It also ended its contract with Live PD earlier this year, which Daniels said was because the Sheriff’s Office had been on the show for longer than all but one other agency and leadership felt it was time to pass the spotlight.

Still, he said, engaging a wide audience is a priority. He sees the softer, more approachable posts as a means to hook the audience so that more of the community sees serious posts in emergencies.

“We want to have as large an audience as possible,” he said, “so that whenever we have a — God forbid — bad day, we have that audience already.”

Related: Pasco Sheriff’s Office 9 p.m. routine catches on nationally

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Both robbers were shot and killed, and the fourth victim was in a nearby vehicle when shots rang out at a crowded intersection in Miramar.
  2. Richard Taormino is accused of beating and raping a woman in an abandoned mobile home park, according to St. Petersburg police. [Pinellas County jail] Pinellas County jail
    Richard Taormino, 44, faces three counts of sexual battery with a deadly weapon and one count of kidnapping.
  3. Stephen Ailing, 54, faces a battery charge. Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    Stephen Ailing, who faces a battery charge, teaches music at Sunray Elementary in Holiday.
  4. Kelsey Joseph Aromola, 27, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, attempted burglary of an occupied structure and domestic battery after deputies say he attacked a neighbor with a meat cleaver. The neighbor was trying to call 911 after witnessing a domestic battery, deputies said. Pinellas County Jail
    The neighbor was calling 911 after witnessing him committing a domestic battery, deputies said.
  5. Amazon contract drive, Manuel Moreno of Pinellas Park delivers packages on Dec. 4 throughout the Pinellas Point neighborhood of St. Petersburg. BILL VARIAN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    We break down how to report a stolen package, when to contact police and whether a Ring camera is worth it.
  6. St. Petersburg police Assistant Chief Antonio Gilliam is one of three finalists for chief of the Tallahassee Police Department. Gilliam has spent his career in St. Pete but was born and raised in Tallahassee. [Courtesy of Antonio Gilliam] Courtesy of Antonio Gilliam
    After two decades rising through St. Petersburg’s ranks, Antonio Gilliam will return to the city he was born and raised in.
  7. A man armed with a “large knife,” pictured on the left, was shot and critically wounded by an officer in a confrontation that unfolded Tuesday on a pedestrian bridge overlooking Interstate 275, according to St. Petersburg police. Times | St. Petersburg Police Department
    The officer, Sean Thompson, was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
  8. Susan Mary Strahsmeier was arrested on charges of child abuse and possession of a weapon on school property -- both felonies -- after police said she hit a kid on the head with a taser during a fight at Azalea Middle School. Pinellas County Jail
    Her daughters were in a fight at Azalea Middle School when she got involved and hit a kid in the head with a taser, police said.
  9. Pinellas deputies have arrested a man they say was running a drug house.
The house is located at 6921 49th Ave. N, which is a little northwest of Kenneth City. Google Earth
    The man arrested also is awaiting trial on drug charges stemming from an August arrest.
  10. Yesterday• Associated Press
    Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Authorities say a Florida man died in a crash while fleeing Marion County deputies.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement