Police Join Facebook To Fight Crime, Inform Public
by Mark Bellinger
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro Police Officers have hit the social network scene. Networks like Facebook and Twitter have become new tools to communicate with the people they protect.
Sergeant Dan Ogren manages East Precinct's Facebook page.
"I've posted a couple of meetings and also the results of us doing heavy patrolling in the Russel Street area when we had the car break-ins," said Ogren.
Ogren routinely sends out e-mails detailing criminal activity in East Nashville and what the police department is doing about it. He said Facebook is different because it's a place to post neighborhood association meetings. He also posts crime stats and links to Metro's crime mapping page.
"If we don't have results, we'll post that in there too and say we're going to try something new," said Ogren.
The police department is not only using Facebook to communicate with the community. It's also using the social network to help solve crimes.
Lieutenant Dan Driskell said his detectives have already used Facebook with success.
"We've had cases that have already come up where we've been able to get information from Facebook pages to make federal gun charges, to make burglary charges, to make arrests," said Driskell.
The East Precinct Facebook page has received 2,000 hits.
Facebook users will just have to click on the link that says you like the page and they will automatically get Sergeant Ogren's posts.
"Folks can also post something to us too. I put my e-mail on there periodically, so that not only does it post here, but if they want to contact me directly, they can," said Ogren.
In addition to East, two other Metro Police Precincts have Facebook pages. They are the Hermitage and South Precincts.