Social media group great benefit to Truro police

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TRURO – Since revamping its Facebook page four months ago, the Truro Police Service has seen great benefits.

Truro Police Service dispatch supervisor Erin Adams looks over the service’s Facebook page. Since revamping the page four months ago, and using it more to connect with the public, the service has benefitted greatly. File photo

“It’s been great,” said Erin Adams, dispatch supervisor who does a lot of updating to the site, including ‘wanted’ photos, weekly statistics and press releases.

“When we started, we only had about 170 followers, and now we have almost 1,400 followers. We’ve gotten a lot of tips from the public.”

One of the first videos Adams posted to the page in September was viewed more than 24,000 times, either from that page itself or its followers sharing it to their own pages.

“We find that very successful,” said inspector Rob Hearn. “We have solved crimes because of the Facebook page. For example, there was a guy that lives out West that was wanted for missing court, and we put his picture on that page. He saw his picture on there and contacted us. He had his charges transferred to court out West to deal with them there.”

Over the months, Adams isn’t sure how many pictures of wanted people have been posted, however, once the matters are dealt with, the pictures are then removed.

They also post pictures of people the service is hoping to identify.

“We posted a picture and within 15 minutes, we knew his identity and where to find him, so we passed that information along to the lead detective to do a follow-up,” she said.

Although pictures are posted, it doesn’t mean those shown in the pictures are suspects, said Hearn.

“Sometimes we just want to identify them because they may have some information that could help us,” he said.

Along with police business, the Facebook page often posts weather information and street closures for the public. The information is removed once the situation passes.

With the ability to send an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers through the Facebook page, all tips passed along to the Truro Police Service are also done anonymously.

“We may ask for a name and contact information because we may want to contact that person for a follow-up,” said Hearn.

Having had only positive feedback so far on the page, the Truro Police Service is also considering creating a Twitter account in the new year.

 

rtetanish@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

Organizations: Truro Police Service, Crime Stoppers

Geographic location: Truro

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