SAN ANTONIO -- People are already jumping on board to crack down on crime through social media because it offers so much more, using Facebook to build bridges between the community and police.
"We are everyday people just like them," Officer Hernandez said. "We care about our property, we care about their property."
The officers of the San Antonio Police Department roll into their patrol with the intent to protect other's homes like their own. On the lookout for any suspicious activity, officers are also stopping to answer questions and return thank yous for their work, with "we appreciate you so very much."
"We are able to get to know more on a personal level and pick up a lot more info," Officer Hernandez said.
That's what SAPD wants: people to have access to officers even if they can't meet them in person.
"They are going to sit there and see exactly what we are doing day to day," Sgt. Pat Michalec said.
"This gives us an opportunity to shed the positive side of law enforcement," Officer Hernandez noted.
That chance is on Facebook now that SAPD has launched a pilot program, creating pages specifically for the north and central parts of town so people can talk directly to officers working in their neighborhoods.
If you think about your day, how often are you on social media, Twitter, Facebook? Police are there too, and now it's one more way to stay connected to the community.
The SAPD North SAFFE page shows a video about how they test drugs that officers have seized, lists suspects that have been arrested, and provides an open line of communication for questions from the community.
It seems to be working, as people are already writing in tips and having conversations with their officers.
"Residents are making a conscious effort to say, ‘hey, can you help us out?" Sgt. Michalec said. "In this day and age, everyone knows we need to be transparent as law enforcement. And social media is that step to make us as transparent as possible."
The plan is to expand the program across the city so that the long arm of the law is just one post away.
(© 2016 KENS)