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Law enforcement utilizing social media more often to solve cases

Sgt. Linda Howard and the Bibb County Sheriff's Office use social media to help solve crime / Danielle Apolinar (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Today's ever-changing social media landscape has given law enforcement officers a new platform to disseminate information quicker.

Sgt. Linda Howard with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office said social media gives people in the community different avenues to contact them.

When law enforcement gets information out to the public quickly, it helps them solve cases faster. The Bibb County Sheriff's Office has seen a tremendous response from the public since creating their Facebook page.

Howard said that because so many people are on social media now, the sheriff's office uses Facebook to post images of wanted or missing persons. She said social media has played a role in solving cases time and time again.

"First thing you do is pull out your phone, check social media, our page pops up," Howard said. "They could see a person they recognize or have information. They call and let us know."

People will message their Facebook page with information about where they last saw the person. The community in turn helps itself.

"It gives them the opportunity to help save the community," Howard said.

It also helps the sheriff's office connect with surrounding county agencies to help solve crimes.

"They'll contact us and say, 'Hey this looks like the person who committed the crime,'" Howard said.

Social media also helps bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community.

"We get out in the community and do other things than just make arrests," Howard said.

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