One-on-One with Officer Anthony Greiter


Anthony Greiter is in charge of ISU Police Department’s Facebook and Twitter pages. He works to show that the officers and the department is approachable to students and the community.

Saige Heyer

Anthony Greiter is a police officer with the ISU Police Department. His career started when he was a student and got a job as a 911 dispatcher with ISU Police. Officer Greiter is currently in charge of updating the department’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

What made you want to be a police officer?

Interesting question. Unfortunately, I’m going to give you the stereotypical ‘I wanted to help people.’ When I started at ISU, I was a French major and I wanted a job. My neighbor in the dorms worked as a 911 dispatcher for our department and he kind of got me sucked into the position.

I applied, I got the job and that was my first major thought about law enforcement as a profession. I saw a very different side of police work than you do on TV.

We’re a very unique department in that we are working with a very educated population, almost all the time. And so our department is very educated, which really denies that stereotype that cops are just people who are, you know, whatever you see — Barney Fife, you know, somebody who right out of high school just got a job, they gave him a badge and a gun.

We’re a very educated department, and not only that — we’re not educated as criminal justice majors. When I was a dispatcher, we had education majors, forestry majors, computer science, graphic design — just kind of the works. And, you know, seeing that well-rounded officer or how the different majors make a well-rounded officer so good really intrigued me.

And I saw that our department is focused on educating the public as opposed to being robotic — going out and just enforcing laws, black and white as they’re written down on paper. We’re very focused on education and that was a big appeal to me — to be able to teach, which is what I wanted to do with French, and the law enforcement that I fell in love with all at the same time is nice.

How do you come up with some of the things you post on social media?

I have no idea. I spend a fair amount of time looking at what other departments are doing and I realized that humor goes really far with our students as well as our faculty and staff. I would almost venture to say that some of my humor goes further with our students’ parents than it does with the students themselves sometimes. So I’m reaching a huge audience or a huge range of people.

I come up with some of the goofiest things and when I’m at home, I’ll write it down in my phone quickly and remember the next day I need to put this up.

I end up taking a lot of what other departments do, though, and twisting it and putting a humorous twist on it and that works out really well. Education works a lot better coming from a cop when it’s funny so if I can keep it from being dry, that’s my goal.

When not on duty, what do you like to do?

I am a cyclist. I ride with a group called Iowa COPS. COPS stands for Concerns of Police Survivors. That’s an organization that supports the families and survivors of fallen law enforcement in Iowa. So when an officer is killed in the line of duty, they come in and they help out, whether it’s with funeral arrangements, supporting the family with emotional support, they help them get the financial support — insurance and all of that.

I’m married and my wife and I are both very adventurous, I would say. We just joined a rock climbing group. She’s a cyclist as well. We’re runners when we feel like it. We’re fairly active. Music is a huge part of our lives as well. And I love to cook. I love eating food.

What’s your favorite part about working for the ISU Police Department?

The support, I think, is fantastic. Our administration is extremely supportive of what I do in my current position with community outreach. They’re very supportive of our Facebook posts, our Twitter posts. They kind of let me run with it at this point. We’re almost a year into this, I think. In July we’ll hit one year on Facebook and Twitter. And they’ve just been very open to suggestions, so allowing social media to become a part of what we do in our outreach efforts has been fantastic.

Do you think using social media has helped you inform the students about things they should know — their safety, laws, weather?

Absolutely. My goal in starting social media was kind of twofold and one of them was that information aspect. You know, getting information out to our students, faculty and staff whether it’s weather related or we did winter driving tips or things that they can do to stay safe on Spring Break or ways to help out.

The other side is the community outreach aspect where I really want to show that our department is approachable and our officers are approachable.

I’m working Orientation right now and it’s interesting to sit back and watch the freshmen come in and a lot of them will look [at] our booth, realize that we’re police and kind of veer out of the way, go around our booth and move to the one right next to us.

I’m very outgoing at Orientation and I try to pull those people in and just chat with them, help them realize that we’re funny people, that we’re real people and that we’re not robotic. We go home to families. We don’t get plugged into a power source at the end of our shift, you know, to recharge for the next shift. We’re real people and I think social media has been really big in doing that.

There are obviously people out there that have negative views of law enforcement. One concern I know that a lot of police departments have when they look at using social media is that they’re going to get negative feedback. You may get negative feedback, but if you’re doing it properly, if you’re reaching out to your audience appropriately, you’re going to have people step forward.

We’ve gotten very little negative feedback, I’ll say that, but what we have gotten, I haven’t had to address because our community has stepped up and said, ‘Hey, you clearly don’t know ISUPD. You don’t know these people, because if you did, you would realize that you’re way off. You’re wrong in what you’re saying.” It’s been a fantastic way to show that our community really is behind us.

This next question is in reference to one of your Facebook posts. Do you really have a freezer full of popsicles?

I cannot confirm nor deny that. If we did have one when I posted that, I can honestly tell you it would not be full anymore.