Social networking helps police protect and serve

By Holly Brantley

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Sikeston's Department of Public Safety has a new tool in it's arsenal to help them keep people safe.

This time, they are  using social networking to help them protect and serve.

'This is about us getting the information out to the public to make it a safer place to live," said Chief Drew Juden.

Juden says an informed public makes their job easier. He says to get information out, you  have to go where the people are. Juden believes Sikeston is now become one of the first in the Heartland to joins the public on facebook.

Sgt. Jim McMillen is in charge of updating the page. He calls it an important way to link law enforcement, media, and you.

"The more the public knows what we are doing the better relationship we have," said Sgt. McMillen.

Sgt. McMillen  posts all the department's press releases to the site. He says it can help them alert the community, ask for help to locate suspects, find missing children, or let residents know about weather condition. It can also provide an avenue for feedback.

"We're not just using facebook," said Sgt. McMillen. "We're using twitter for media purposes."

Chief Juden got the idea from talking to members of law enforcement at a homeland security conference in New York. Many big city police departments use facebook and the internet widely.

"We're now getting tips we wouldn't have before because it's so easy," said Chief Juden.

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