Social Media Helps Police Solve Cases

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Police are turning to social media for help solving crimes.

A post of a teenager flashed on the Genoa Township Police Facebook page Monday. Her parents were frantic and police were concerned.  Replies started coming in and information on where she might be.

"The missing girl herself replied to the post that she was on her way home and she was basically okay," said Chief Steve Gammill.

Chief Gammill says it's crucial to get missing persons information out immediately. Social media allows it to happen.

"We can get information out very quickly to the public. We can get some feedback from the public," said Gammill.

Columbus police know that also. A burglary suspect was caught for breaking into a home. Facebook responses helped get the stolen items back to the owner. The day after he got out of jail, police say he hit another home and was caught again. And his picture was posted again on Facebook.

With social media, departments have found posts get reposted countless times.

"In this case, there were over 500 shares of the post so it's a wide dissemination of the information," said Gammill.

Genoa Township just popped up on social media about a year ago. Followers have tripled since Chief Gammill took over last August. It's a new concept for this cop of 34 years, but one he now believes is invaluable.

"We think Facebook is a great way to have two way communication with the public," said Gammill.