Social media an important tool for law enforcement

MORGANTOWN Ky.- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – they’re all heavily used by just about everyone. That’s why they’ve become a useful tool for law enforcement as well.

As social media continues to develop, those in law enforcement fields use it to do their job of keeping the community safe. Morgantown Police Chief Giles Taylor said keeping up with social media is essential to what the police department does.

“I’ve been flirting with the idea of media for about 10 years because I could see the trend emerging. It’s been really helpful to us,” Taylor said.

Delivery speed of information is crucial in some situations such a missing elderly person or child. That’s where social media comes in.

“If I need something put out in the public real quick, there’s nothing faster than social media. People are following it,” Taylor said.

It’s not only law enforcement making use of this tool. Those in criminal justice system, like Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron have their uses for it too.

“We’re able to use it along with law enforcement agencies to keep the public informed at all times, dispel rumors, and also to make sure all pertinent information gets out to the public,” Cohron said.

This is especially useful with how fast information travels today.

“You used to deal with a 24-hour news cycle. Now you pretty much deal with a 24-minute news cycle,” Cohron said.

Cohron said it’s just as important to receive information from the general public, as it is to provide it.

“I think having that connection and that open dialogue to be able to receive and send information to the public so widespread and so quickly can only be an advantage to us in the criminal justice system, to make sure the public stays informed adequately,” Cohron said.