Let trained professionals investigate

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

We live in such a crazy world, and social media can serve as a quick way to alert our family and friends of concerns, but itís important to remember this does not replace filing a police report.

On a daily basis, anyone who uses social media probably scrolls past a post warning about being followed or suspected suspicious activity. Social media is an excellent avenue for spreading information quickly and efficiently. There are often internet sleuths on those posts demanding names and information of the people allegedly involved, possibly pinpointing an innocent individual based on rumor. Police are specially trained to pull together information and have the law on their side to hopefully track down the right person. They have rules in place as to not jeopardize an investigation. And, if they make a mistake, there are repercussions in place as well. Whereas, if you put an innocent personís name on the internet just because youíre suspicious, you could tarnish the reputation of a potentially innocent person whether you mean to or not.

We arenít saying donít post to be wary of strangers at the store because you were uncomfortable, because we believe you wholeheartedly, but we are talking more along the lines of donít post a photo of a potentially innocent individual on the internet. Save it to your phone to show the police.

A few years ago there was a situation in Linton that police had responded to. Naturally, people were talking about it all over social media. Several people were naming the suspect in the case on Facebook before police released the information, but people were giving the wrong name. It was the same last name, no relation, but the person being named was no longer even in-state. That personís name was being tarnished while being hundreds of miles away and unaware of what was even taking place.

Also, we often see local police officersí personal or department social media accounts tagged in the comments of posts. But, we want to remind you that is not the same as having an official police report in place.

The Jasonville Police Department made an effort recently to follow up on those posts on social media, but itís also important to actually call the police if you suspect suspicious activity.

A police report not only opens up an avenue for trained professionals to look into the incident, but it also creates official documentation that can be used in court should there be charges filed. Facebook posts will not cut it in front of a judge.

Social media can have so many benefits if used properly, but letís keep ourselves safe by also allowing the professionals to handle the investigation.