MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - In less than one year, the Meridian Township Police Department has had great success with social media. They have a blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
Beginning last November, they started using social media to track down suspects.
Sgt. McCready is in charge of social media for the police department. He says using social media saves time and resources. “Without assigning someone and paying them to do that, it takes me fifteen minutes to put together a wanted poster," said McCready.
McCready said in 2011 that they had three warrants cleared specifically from broadcasting them on social media. Since January, they’ve had five warrants that have been cleared, three of which were felony warrants. They've even had people turn themselves in after seeing they were wanted on social media.
The police department has also had success using social media to keep an open dialogue with the community.
“From what we know it's been very successful in terms of building long term relationships and loyalty toward the community, toward these organizations,” said Saleem Alhabash, an associate professor of telecommunications and information studies at Michigan State University.
McCready would agree with that: "I think people want to know what their police department or government is doing, this allows an inside look at what we do.”
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Meridian Township Police solve crimes and make friends with community members at the same time with social media.