UTSA police using social media to get students' help fighting crime

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by Mayra Moreno / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @mayramorenokens

kens5.com

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 4:57 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- Solving crimes online is becoming increasingly successful for police departments, so more and more are surfing the Internet these days.

Add UTSA to that list. The campus police department is using social media to reach students more easily.

"We receive a lot more information if we communicate through Facebook or Twitter," UTSA Police Chief Steve Barrera said.

He and his team are online sending alerts and posting campus events. They're even asking for crime tips. Anyone can submit information anonymously.

"When people are anonymous, we recieve a lot of information and many times we try to solve a crime with that information," Barrera said.

One case they're trying to solve is a purse-snatching incident. The department uploaded surveillance video pictures of the student. They believe she may be connected to the person who committed the theft.

"We're hoping someone knows who it is (and will) give us some tips and follow up," Barrera said.

Students who rely on their phones and electronic devices said it's a great idea.

"I use Facebook for my sorority all the time, so I always get notifications on my phone," one student said.

"A lot of us use that, so it's a great way to contact us," another student said.

"It (would) definitely get a lot more students to know what's going on," said a third student.

So far, the department's page has a little more than 300 "likes," but Barrera said it's a great start to their new approach.

 

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