Have you ever had information about a crime but weren’t sure about how to go about reporting it? Well, police departments across Michigan and the rest of the country are now using Facebook and Twitter to help solve crimes. Many departments have Facebook and Twitter accounts that encourage discussion or information sharing about crimes. But that’s not all. According to a recent article in the Detroit Free Press, it’s now standard procedure for cops to troll social media websites looking for people who post information about crimes on their personal pages.
The social media initiative started years ago when police were looking for ways to track sexual predators who target children. The initiative has been so successful, that police are now using the task force for all types of crimes. Whether it’s traffic violations, drug sales, prostitution or other crimes, you can bet that police are watching.
It may seem invasive to some, but using social media is an effective tool for the authorities. In fact, it may be a more effective tool than traditional media. For instance, a report on the local news may only receive a couple of calls regarding tips about a crime. Social media such as Twitter or Facebook are much easier ways for people to give tips to police and are now generating more tips for police to solve more crimes.
Law enforcement veteran Morgan Wright is a forming a new initiative called Connected to the Case, a social media program that will be used for people to share clues and picture that can be used to quickly solve crimes. He was inspired by a Mashable article in which comments on a blog gave authorities answers to clues about a hit and run accident.
Wright talks about his initiative in the video below:
This is just another example of the social media revolution. It’s not just about posting Facebook statuses about your weekend plans or following Tweets from your favorite celebrity anymore. Social media sites have real, valuable purposes that can better the quality of life of everyone. It’s inevitable, social media will have an impact on every walk of life over the next decade, if not sooner.