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Law Enforcement Using Social Media To Solve Crimes, Reach Out To Community

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Mojgan Sherkat (Credit: CBS13) Mojgan Sherkat
Mojgan Sherkat joined the CBS13 news team in May of 2014. Originally...
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As millions around the world join social-media site and share their stories, local police departments are doing the same thing to help solve crime.

Various agencies are crediting social media sites as a way of fighting crime, saying all it takes sometimes is posting a photo on Facebook to get a lead on a possible suspect.

“Not only are we pushing info out to the community and to people, we also take info in,” said Sacramento Police spokeswoman Michelle Gigante.

Through Facebook, Twitter and even their own app, the department is taking the fight on crime online, even including a new position for the department.

The department says social media has made it possible for them to connect with the community in real time, from anywhere and anyplace.

“You’re out in the community so you can work in conjunction with us and help us solve crimes,” said Jenna Swafford.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Department credits social media as well. They post mugshots, missing persons information and surveillance photos to their networks.

A high-profile example of law enforcement’s social media used was the Stockton Police Department’s post of accused felon Jeremy Meeks’ mugshot. The photo drew international attention, because women found him attractive.

Sacramento Police says they’ll even post funny tidbits, including a post about a woman who walks her turtle.

“What’s nice is we have management behind us saying, ‘Why not? Worst-case scenario, it doesn’t work, and we move on to something else,” Gigante said.

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