Police take to social media to fight crime

By Matt Porter

April 22, 2013 Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 11:37 PM EST

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Broome County Sheriff's Office says social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are playing a greater role in investigations.

In last week's successful manhunt for the Boston Bomber, the FBI and police took advantage of social media to spread pictures and information about the suspect.

Broome County Capt. Frederick Akshar said social media is changing the way they look at investigations.

"We are not only using social media to promote the good that this office is doing, but we're also using it to solve crimes," Akshar said. "If we have a suspect that we're looking for, we have the ability now to put an image on Facebook and push that out to the community."

The Broome County Sheriff's Office has more than 5,000 fans that can be notified with a few clicks of the mouse.

And Facebook and Twitter also allow those alerts to be shared by each of the 5,000 users themselves, creating a viral spread of information that never before existed.