Police Use Twitter To Solve, Prevent Crime
CHARLOTTE, NC- Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Marchelle Hoffman runs the Eastway Division's twitter page. She tweets the latest crime statistics and suspects to watch out for to nearly 400 followers.
"Anything that I put out at a community meeting, I put on Twitter as well," said Hoffman.
Hoffman says the page is a two-way street. Many residents help the division by reporting suspicious people in the neighborhood and other crimes.
"Some people may not feel comfortable calling 9-1-1 or they may not like a one on one contact with police. A lot of people like to be behind the computer and their phones,” said Hoffman.
Uptown resident Andrew Jenkins follows local police divisions on twitter and has communicated with Officer Hoffman.
"One night I was walking on and I thought I heard gunshots. I sent out a quick tweet asking if anything had been reported in the area and I got a really quick response," said Jenkins.
CMPD officers in the Eastway Division used twitter to get the word out this weekend about suspects they believe are going door-to-door posing as AT&T workers. The twitter post includes the suspect descriptions and what car they're driving.
Using social media is a national trend that has hit home here in charlotte.
"We've had sprees of larceny from autos or burglaries and we'll try to put suspect and vehicle information out," said Wilson
Captain James Wilson with the South Division says they're twitter is becoming a more popular tool to fight and prevent crime.
"If you live in a community that's experiencing crime, we want you to know about it so that' you'll be more vigilant and give us a call," said Wilson.