Many people rely on social networks like Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with friends and family and to stay updated with what’s going on in the world.
Local law enforcement officers say social media also plays an important role in their jobs.
Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, social media plays an important role in law enforcement. From being used as a tool to get important information out to the public in a timely manner, to being used as a resource to gain information from the public about an ongoing case or wanted suspect.
Altoona police chief Kelly Bakken says she’s been in law enforcement for more than 20 years.
She says when she started social media was essentially non-existent, but now it has evolved and changed the way she does her job.
“Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are really big ones in helping us solve crimes and get the information out to the public more quickly than what we have been able to do in the past…we can post something on our Facebook page and reach thousands of people within seconds, ” said Bakken. “On the flip side…with social media sometimes information gets out there and it’s not completely accurate information…that has kind of hindered investigations in the past.”