continued Moving to Facebook for communication with residents is a natural move, Rotolo said.
“It’s a way to consume information and it’s more conducive to the way that we are already consuming,” he said. “It’s sort of an initial push of information. When we see the police department start to do a little more engagement, becoming a little more advanced, that’s a positive sign.”
In Camillus, the police department’s Facebook page grew as an extension of the town’s web site, which allows for interaction between the department and residents. The town uses a service called Nixle, which broadcasts alerts for local governments, businesses and agencies. Camillus is the only town in the area to use it.
The broadcast instantly posts to Facebook, Twitter and is sent out in an email blast, Farella said. Moving to other social networks as the media industry evolves is something the department is watching.
“If it catches on, we’re already there,” Farella said. “If something new comes along, we’ll try to get on that too. Whatever is most popular, we’ll stick with that.”
For DeWitt, Sgt. John Anton says the Facebook page allows instant communication.
“We’re big into technology, so we’re trying to use it in the department,” he said. “It seems like more and more people are on the go all the time. People can stay informed with what’s going on, and it’s a win-win for us, all the way around. The more information they have, the better they can stay informed with what’s going on in the town.”
“If we are looking for someone dangerous or there are potential witnesses to a crime, someone on Facebook is going to know those people,” Farella said. “Facebook has helped us get the information out there. We’ve had some real good tips that have lead to arrests.”