Law enforcement using social media to reach the masses - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Law enforcement using social media to reach the masses

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Law enforcement are using social media to reach the masses. Law enforcement are using social media to reach the masses.
Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter
Butler County Sheriff Rick Dobbs Butler County Sheriff Rick Dobbs
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SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - We've all seen how common it is for links to go viral.

And that's just what authorities are capitalizing on when it comes to social media posts.

It's amazing how quickly you can reach a lot of people," said Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter.

Whether it's by twitter followers or facebook likes, local law enforcement are taking to social media.

"The public demands more than what we used to and I say we because I'm part of it," said Sheriff Walter.

Sheriff Walter says that's why they've incorporated Facebook and Twitter into their daily responsibilities.

It's a quick way to reach a lot of people, and when minutes count that extra share or retweet could make all the difference.

"Police officers in rural areas can only cover so much ground," said Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs. "And there can only be so many eyes and ears out there that are law enforcement. But if you put that information out to the public then you have that many more eyes and ears out there helping you look."

Sheriff Dobbs has seen this first hand.

He says the public was their greatest asset in the arrest of a suspect in a 2012 child abduction case.

"I  think our big success in apprehending the suspect and getting the child back safely was our ability to get the message out there on social media," said Sheriff Dobbs.

The way to interact with the public continues to expand with more options like Instagram and Snapchat.

While not every agency utilizes these apps, Sheriff Dobbs says for them it's a win-win.

"The technology is just something that you can't let pass you by and it's a resource that we felt we had to try to make the best of and work it to its full advantage," said Sheriff Dobbs.

Some agencies, like the Scott and New Madrid County sheriff's offices, even have their own app.

On it, you can see things like current jail inmates and a most wanted list.

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