Local law enforcement uses social media to give important information to the public

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - In the days of social media, word travels fast...and local law enforcement is taking advantage of that.

"In our view, as a government organization, if you're not using every avenue you can then you're kinda missing the boat," said Lt. Stacy Bates with the Huntsville Police Department.

"You're missing a lot of people you could be communicating with."

And one kind of communication Huntsville Police are using every day...social media.

"We don't want to be missing people that have information that could help us solve crimes, solve cases, or whatever it may be," said Lt. Bates.

With more than a thousand followers on Twitter, Lt. Stacy Bates says the exposure gives the public a sense of whats behind the uniform.

"Some of the things we're able to post lets people kind of see the human side of our officers, ya know, it's not all crisis situations," said Bates.

On the other hand, it also gets information out during crunch time.

"If its something urgent and we have investigators on the scene and there's something they need to put out quickly, because they think 'Hey this is going to be a possible public safety issue, this could be a person that could be a risk to others,' then it's a way for us to push information out very quick," said Bates.

Passing along information on social media is so successful, Lt. Bates says the department's online presence is here to stay.