In a world dominated by social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter, it's easy for people to know what's going on around them as its happening.
The Wichita Falls Police Department is looking at increasing its social media presence in an effort to keep Wichita Falls residents informed, especially during emergency situations.
Wichita Falls Police Public Information Officer Sergeant John Spragins says the police department has been using nixle alerts through texting and emails for quite a while but they hope by pushing people to their Facebook and newly formed Twitter page, residents will be able to get the information they need and quickly.
"People now, they want their news instantly," Spragins says. "They want to see that information instantly and so the more information that we can put out on a regular basis, I think it's better."
Spragins says when officers are dispatched to a scene, the public wants to know what is happening.
"They like to see that their police department is out there working, that they're out there making good cases because... they can see that it's more than the one or two arrest that you may be able to highlight during your newscast," Spragins says.
In addition, Sgt. Spragins says WFPD has only been using Twitter for 3 weeks but they've already received positive feedback from the community.
He says whether it's alerting the public to stay away from a certain area during an investigation or asking them for help in solving a crime; releasing information through social media is a direction he wants the department to go in.
Spragins says, "I think it's a good thing. We haven't run into so-called snags yet but before we get there, we want to learn more and more."
Spragins says WFPD public information officers will soon travel to the metroplex to gather ideas and get some social media training from the Dallas Police Department.
To give you an idea of how many folks use social networking, the Dallas PD's Twitter account has over 28,000 followers.
Click on the links to go to the Wichita Falls Police Department's Facebook