Local police using media to help solve crimes - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Local police using media to help solve crimes

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(07/19/12) - Police agencies across the country are using more forms of media to help crack missing person cases, murders, kidnappings and robberies.

ABC12's Kristen Abraham talked to a local police department who says it's made a real difference in how they combat crime.

Police agencies like Flint Township are realizing just how many more people can be reached via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Flint Township Police Lt. Tim Jones says even police have changed with the times. Within the last five years, there's been a big shift in how police agencies across the country use TV and social media sites, like Facebook.

"It's a tool we use on a daily business," Jones said. "The end result is us being able to catch bad guys and locate missing persons so much quicker."

The key is a partnership between the community, police and the media.

"It's amazing how many people will send us an email that says 'I don't want to get involved, but you may want to look at this.' Believe it or not, there's a lot of good information that comes out of that," Jones said.

For example, in April, Flint Township was looking for a person who left the scene of a deadly motorcycle crash on I-69. Lt. Jones sent an alert out to all media asking for the public's help in finding the man.

"Our phones were literally lit up after your 6 o'clock story on where the second motorcycle went. By 11 we knew his identity, by 6 a.m. we knew his date of birth and where he lived and we had him in custody at 9 the next morning," Jones said. "Those kinds of things of bring closure to families. Without the media, it may have gone unsolved."

The Fenton and Bay City police departments are both active on Facebook.

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