Local law enforcement embraces social media as crime-fighting tool

Local law enforcement embraces social media as crime-fighting tool

Print
Email
|

by ANN SHERIDAN / NBC Charlotte Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheridanWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 7:51 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --  It happened on the streets of Philadelphia.  A  man  grabs a 10-year-old girl and tries to abduct her, but the suspect is caught on tape, and  police immediately post the video on Facebook,  YouTube and Twitter.  The suspect turned himself into police the next day.

“It’s estimated eight million people saw that video and the guy said, ‘I just couldn't breathe, ’” said York County PIO Trent Faris.

And although Faris is miles from Philadelphia, the story hit a nerve.

Faris  works  for the York County Sheriff's  Office.  The media specialist  created the agency's s new facebook page  that he hopes will one day help catch criminals like the guy in  Philadelphia.

“These are the people with outstanding warrants  from check fraud, bench warrants and petty larceny, " he said as he pointed to the department’s website.  Right now, suspects only appear there.   But Faris  believes the future is facebook and social media.   And the site  is already turning heads  in York County.

“In less than 12 hours we got 528 likes,” he said.  Faris believes the site will continue to grow, along with the agency’s twitter accounts and YouTube postings.    “Somebody out of that 528 may know somebody who we're looking for,  whether it's a convenience store robbery or shoplifting case."

The site is also intended to promote the department’s achievements, and currently features a story  about deputies who recently won a national NRA Police Shooting Competition.
 

Print
Email
|