Social media continues to sweep law enforcement agencies around the country as police departments turn to the tool to stay in touch with the public.
South Dakota’s Rapid City Police Department has embraced social media as a means to promote events and garner the public’s assistance with unsolved crimes.
Tarah Heupel, Community Relations Specialist for the Rapid City Police Department, told South Dakota Public Broadcasting that the RCPD Facebook page and its more than 15,000 likes has been a useful tool. The RCPD Twitter page also has more than 3,000 followers.
She says many people also watch the videos the RCPD posts on YouTube and interacting with the public is helping police solve crimes.
“We often post surveillance photos or videos of crimes where we need some help trying to identify the people involved,” Heupel told SDPB. “The people, especially on our Facebook page, are very involved and want to help us and they’ll share those things, and it’s happened on more than one occasion where we’ve been able to find the suspects and make an arrest based on tips coming in from social media.”
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