Stockton Police are asking it’s thousands of Facebook friends to give them ideas about what they want to see on the department’s Facebook page.
That’s because the department wants to keep its fans engaged.
“It’s kind of exploded here at the police department,” said Officer Joseph Silva, who administers the page.
The page has generated nearly 17,000 “likes” and the department’s Twitter account has 2,500 followers. Fans can find out the latest crimes committed in the city because its updated twice a day by police watch commanders. It also puts out crime statistics, most wanted lists and crime prevention tips.
Police are most happy about an anonymous tip link which is generating information that has led to a number of arrests. People are sending in information about suspects, vehicles involved in crimes and where suspected criminals are living or hanging out. An app allows people to send in photos and video as well.
Not only are criminals being caught, the page often shows mug shots of suspects to good effect. Silva pointed out a burglary suspect whose photo was posted on its Facebook page a few weeks ago. Previous victims saw the photo and recognized the burglar as the one who broke into their house and he was charged with that crime as well.
Just as important is communicating with city residents on what they’re doing. Yesterday a Facebook post featured the arrests of four suspected burglars who were caught by police after a Neighborhood Watch member called 9-1-1 after seeing them in his neighbor’s house.
“That’s something we want to highlight to let other people in the community know that these are the types of phone calls that we need,” said Silva.
Stockton resident Joe Guthrie agrees. He’s on the Police Facebook page everyday.
“I like to see criminals go down,” said Guthrie.
Besides keeping him informed the page allows him to communicate his appreciation to police for the job they’re doing.
“I think that’s what’s going to help our community embrace the police department and help lower our crime rate,” said Guthrie.
The department is encouraged with positive messages posted on the page. They’ll carefully go through any suggestions about what should go on the page.
“We definitely want that community bond and what the community wants to see on our Facebook page. It is important to us,” said Silva.