MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Facebook and Twitter aren't just for keeping up with your friends. The Meridian Township Police Department is using social media sites to help fight crime and catch criminals.
The Meridian Township Police Department now hopes that the social network community will be able to aid in crime prevention and even resolution. MTPD Lieutenant Greg Frenger met with us to discuss how social media is being used to aid the Meridian Township Police Department and the community.
Lieutenant Frenger says his department uses Nixle, a site that sends emergency information to residents through email and text, along with Facebook, Twitter, and a blog. He says if they ever have unsolved crimes with photographs or other information, his department will post it online and ask for tips.
However, Dr. Charles Steinfield of Michigan State University's Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media says this crime fighting tool should be used with extra caution.
Dr. Steinfield says social media can "sometimes function as a modern day rumor and gossip mill on steroids almost." He says if someone were to be falsely accused and that information be posted online, it could be very damaging to someone's reputation. However, Dr. Steinfield says overall, it is a tool police forces should use because many people use these social media sites.
Lieutenant Frenger says his department will continue to utilize new social media sites as they continue to emerge.
ORIGINAL STORY: MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Police use Social Media now? Get all the details from Monday's Meridian Magazine!