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If Dick Wolf is looking for his next police procedural drama series, I have a suggestion for him – Law and Order – Social Media Unit.  A dedicated team of detectives who use Facebook and Twitter to hunt down their prey.  These are their stories.  Clunk-clunk. Yes, I can see it becoming the next big hit.  Royalty checks care of please.

But all kidding aside, social media is being increasingly used by law enforcement agencies to hunt down criminals, gather evidence, assess tips, and build cases. Look at it this way – how many idiots have committed a crime then gone on YouTube to brag about it?  How many smartphone owners have filmed crimes in progress or photographed them, then uploaded it to the Internet?  It seems that these days, when someone has evidence of a crime, their first port of call isn’t to dial the emergency services, but to go online and find their five minutes of fame.

But law enforcement also uses social media for good, by recruiting officers and staff, and providing community outreach.  So it isn’t all bam, bam, you’re under arrest.  It’s also the feel good factor

Does your local police department use social media?  If so, in your opinion, do they use it properly or do they totally mess it up?  What could they do to improve their social media efforts?  Or do you think that the police should stay off social media and resort to old-fashioned crime fighting methods?  Let us know in the comments while I get the Batman costume on and fire up the Batmobile.

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