Police department turns to social media to locate suspects


[image credit: fox13now.com]

Police Department resources for catching crime suspects are limited

Police detectives often run into a dead end when tracking a crime suspect. They may have grainy video footage of a robbery and no leads to go on.

Solution: Use the crowdsourced power of social media to locate people

Lt. Craig Martinez is the man behind the posts on Orem Police Department's Facebook page. When officers hit a dead end in their search for a suspect, a Tattletale Tuesday post serves as the ultimate snitch.

Martinez has been posting for the past year. He is surprised by the success the department has seen. With about 90 percent of the cases posted online, suspects are identified and often arrested.

Martinez simply posts then lets the department's tens of thousands of followers go to work. The posts often include a clear picture or surveillance video that gives the online community a good glimpse of a suspect.

“They repost it, they share it, they retweet it, it gets so much traction behind it that eventually somebody knows these people,” Martinez said. “We’ve even had some suspects call us saying 'I'll come and turn myself in and talk to a detective. Just please take my picture off the Facebook page.' So it works both ways.”

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Category: Crime


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Article by: Dave

Dave Cannon is a Seattle-based entrepreneur and consultant to nonprofits and small businesses. He loves Thai food and takes terrible photographs. You can follow him on Linkedin.
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