How a police officer uses Facebook

Constable Scott Mills, a community youth officer in Toronto, says “police officers must be where the people are, and these days, the people are on Facebook.” He uses his Facebook account, as well as Groups and Events, not just to send out information and get tipped off to threats and crimes very fast to and from a lot of residents, but to “build a stronger, more meaningful connection with the community we serve,” he says as a guest writer in the Facebook blog. This is participatory law enforcement, Mills says, getting the community involved in preventing and solving crime. Facebook users have helped him “sniff out threats against local schools, bring much needed help to people at risk of committing suicide, warn the public about criminals on the loose and even locate missing persons,” he writes. And his program, Toronto Crime Stoppers, is not alone in this. He points to social policing programs in Boston, Vancouver, and Brunswick, Maine, as well. And speaking of policing, Facebook is doing a little of its own – making sure advertisers on its service comply with its new guidelines and blocking them if they don’t, Advertising Age reports (please see Ad Age for specifics).

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