Social media helps Maine police and sheriffs

6:44 PM, Oct 30, 2012   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - When there's a storm bearing down, up to date information is crucial. Facebook and Twitter have become a very important resource for police and sheriff departments to get information right out to their towns quickly.

The Wells Police department was one of many police stations that were pretty busy on Facebook during the storm on Monday. One video they shared late on Tuesday, showed an ocean wave crashing up over a light pole and blowing out the light. The video was shot by Officer Justin Titcomb while he was on patrol. Now while this video is pretty incredible to look at, it's also very helpful to the residents of Wells to understand just how powerful the waves were last night. There are a number of police departments throughout the state that post regularly of their Facebook pages. If you scroll through the Wells Police page for example, you can see just how helpful these post can be. From lines down to street closures to even some evacuations. When you don't have power, but you do have a smart phone (with a data plan), this information is very handy.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency was also posting regular updates on their pages. Keep in mind too, once you go to a page -- check out the other pages that particular page likes. For example, on the MEMA page you can see other counties like Oxford EMA and Lincoln EMA.

This can be helpful for non-storm related issues too. Just this evening the Freeport Police posted a very important post about a residential burglary. Police posted:

"ALERT: A residential burglary just occurred in the Spar Cove Arnold Rd area. Suspects may be on foot and are described as two males one with facial hair, wearing dark hooded sweatshirts carrying a tan backpack. If you should see someone matching this description please call 911 immediately."

Another example at Scarborough Police's page. They also had a lot of helpful posts throughout the storm, but they've also been posting about the status of trick or treat in town too. Earlier today they posted that it's been moved to this Saturday.

We're actually quite grateful to our WCSH6 Facebook friends. Throughout the duration of the storm, we heard from our friends on Facebook and folks on Twitter. Those posts certainly helped us figure out where the storm was going and what towns felt the most from it. Certainly during any storm your feedback helps tremendously. Between your photos, and just the updates on what's happening in your town makes a big difference.

We made a Facebook list that you can scroll through or subscribe to called Maine Police and Sheriff Pages from NEWS CENTER. This list has all the police and sheriff pages in Maine that we could find. We try to update this page with any new pages that are created or that we might have missed. If you don't see your town on the list, but know it's out there, let us know so we can add it. If you want to just look at the list you can scroll through it like it's own Facebook feed.

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