Facebook helps Desoto Parish Sheriff's Office fight crime - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Facebook helps Desoto Parish Sheriff's Office fight crime

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DESOTO PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

More and more law enforcement agencies are using social media to catch criminals and solve crime. The Desoto Parish Sheriff's Office has embraced that trend.

"Some of the younger officers came to me about the facebook. I was kind of skeptical at first," says Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle.

He says getting his office on facebook was a good move.

"We had a case one time where we had a photo of someone that we put on there, and within 20 minutes we had a hit all the way from Colorado that was telling us who this was and where they were at."

They post felons of the week, Crimestoppers information, and other important things the public needs to know like road closures or severe weather alerts.

In late April, they posted a picture of David Dix. He was wanted for allegedly posing as a sales rep for a Shreveport news magazine and defrauding several small businesses. After they posted on the page, and we did a story on his alleged crimes, he turned himself in.

"We have about a 60-percent success rate in the people we post on facebook-of having those people arrested before we use any other means of getting that information out," says Sgt. Jayson Richardson.

Richardson is one of the deputies who runs the page. He says it reaches a part of the population that conventional media may not.

"I'm not sure how many people are always able to catch the news. But they're able to update their facebook while they're on the go, or see those facebook alerts while they're on the go driving their car or things like that."

Richardson says they don't rely solely on facebook for tips. It's simply a tool. "We find out things that people otherwise, I think, would not be as apt to come in and say in person," he says.

The best part for the taxpayers, perhaps, is that the facebook page doesn't cost a penny.

After nearly a year, the DPSO facebook page is closing in on 4,500 friends.

Jayson Richardson says this is a trend that law enforcement agencies will either become a part of, or they'll miss out on the opportunities it provides.

To find out if your local agency uses facebook, you can search for them on the site yourself, or you can call.

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