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Law Enforcement Officials Embrace Social Media

Local police agencies say they are using social media now more than ever.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- In a world where almost everyone has smartphones and uses some form of social media, Washington County law enforcement officials are starting to embrace these sites as well.

Both the sheriff's office and police department have Facebook pages and are using them as another form of policing.

"It's another tool for us to use to gain access to our community and to get information out there," said Deputy First Class Carly Hose, Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Both the sheriff's office and police department have Facebook pages. And they're using them keep the community informed but also get their feedback.

"Specifically if we have a crime that we just posted information on, we're monitoring the information that's coming in on that continually in the hopes that someone gives an anonymous tip to hopefully lead us to a suspect," said Detective. Jason Dietz, Hagerstown Police Department. 

But officials say using social media has it's challenges.

"Social media is about information being at your finger tips right away and Facebook although information can get out right away in a policing setting as an investigator we can't all the times give that information out immediately," said Det. Dietz. "And to protect our cases, we have to sometimes filter the information and only give out a specific amount information."

Officials say that Facebook is a good addition to policing but nothing replaces picking up a phone and dialing 911 in the case of any emergency.

But when it's not an emergency Facebook is another outlet for community outreach.

"I think it's a great tool as far as showing the community what we're about here," said Hose. "We're not just out doing the strict law enforcement aspect of things, we have the community programming, we have the drug program, different education aspects of it."

Officials say twitter may be used in the future too.

Here are the links to the Washington County Sheriff's Office and Hagerstown Police Department Facebook pages.

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