The Modesto Police Department in California has stepped up into the evolving age of technology. They have implemented the social network Twitter for updates on major investigations, traffic accidents, and news releases about investigations. There are over 3,400 followers who receive these updates.
Twitter is another tool used to find out what’s going on in your city. The police scanner was used to find out where sirens were heading and why there were so many patrol cars parked at a specific location. Now, Twitter can update followers on many handheld devices instantly and discreetly.
As with any form of technology, there are good points and some bad ones.
- Warns neighborhoods of suspects at large and to stay inside.
- Let’s motorists know to steer clear of major accident areas.
- Helps with child abduction and missing person cases. Keeps everyone informed – both law enforcement and the public.
- Contributes to more eyes on the street.
- Tool to help get the message out to large amount of people quickly.
- Can send out information immediately and with little effort.
- It’s like an Online Neighborhood Watch.
- Can hamper police work due to rapidly changing incidents or unverified information.
- Due to such quick information being distributed, there isn’t a procedure to check facts first before posting.
- Some details could put officers at risk, especially during a manhunt.
- It’s raw information, and may not be what has actually occurred.