One year later, UPD finds social media a helpful crimefighting tool

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica Police Department is celebrating it's one-year anniversary of being on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

At first, the purpose of being on Facebook was to familiarize people with what they do, and bridge relations with those in the community However, Utica Police soon realized that social media could actually be a powerful crime fighting tool.

"We've been able to identify shoplifting rings, where there's been people stealing," said Public Information Officer Sgt. Steve Hauck. "I remember one guy a while back stole six or seven TVs from WalMart and finally we were able to get a decent video of him and within a few hours we had him identified."

The downside to the social media presence is having to be super-vigilant about policing the comments people leave on Facebook and deleting inappropriate ones.

At least one human rights group is even calling for UPD to do away with the comments option all together saying it has the potential to incite violence.

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