Social media is a powerful tool, and not just for sharing photos of food. Police (and prosecutors) are increasingly using social media as a means of solving and proving crimes in a court of law.
How Police Use Social Media
Take, for example, a partnership between Boerne, TX and Seguin, TX police departments (Bourne and Seguin are located just outside of San Antonio). These two police departments have been highly effective in using social media to catch offenders.
When a crime happens, Boerne PD posts any surveillance footage they have straight to their Facebook page. The department’s Facebook followers – 6,000 or so – jump on the footage or photos, sharing them on their own pages. This creates a spider web of multiplication, putting thousands more eyes on the surveillance. Lt. Perez with Boerne PD says that social media helps them catch every criminal, some within minutes. Some offenders even voluntarily surrender when they see that their actions have hit Facebook.
Seguin Police have taken to nicknaming individuals seen on security cameras, to surprising effect. The nicknames give amateur Facebook detectives an identifying characteristic to look for when calling in tips. “Chicken Legs” and “Ms. No Shame,” were two examples, though unflattering, that Seguin Police have used. Seguin Police were recently nominated for a social media award by the Texas Crime Prevention Association.
The world is changing and eyes are everywhere. If you are arrested and charged with a crime, the best action you can take is to discuss your case in a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney.