Utica Police Department announces Google+ page

By ANDREW DONOVAN

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica Police announced a replacement Friday for their popular, yet controversial, Facebook page.

The police agency will now use Google+ as a service to inform the public and the media on arrests and topics of interests regarding the work of the department. (LINK TO UPD PAGE)

The Facebook page of nearly 25,000 users was deactivated at the end of May. All NEWSChannel 2 was told is that the page was removed at the request of county and state officials who felt it cast Utica in a bad light, but those officials have not been named.

Councilmembers Frank Vescera and Jim Zecca had written a resolution asking the city, more specifically the mayor, to lift the ban on the page.

Mayor Robert Palmieri has not yet commented on the removal of the page or the new use of Google+.

Utica Police officials had specifically identified commenting as the primary issue with Facebook. UPD Sgt. and Public Information Officer Steve Hauck said, "The inability to control commentary on our page created division within the community and took the focus away from informing the public."

Hauck says Google+ has a better ability to control the comments on posts.

Google+ is a relatively new social media service, owned by Google, to compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter, using a lot of similar features as Facebook. Commenting is still a large part of the site's makeup.

A May report from a web analytics firm says Google+ is the second-largest social media site in the world with around 360 million active users, about 1/3 of Facebook's 1.1 billion active users.

WKTV is also on Google+ if you want to add us to your circles: http://bit.ly/11pcfEk

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