BCSO embraces trend, begins using social media - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

BCSO embraces social media trend

Posted: Updated:

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office is embracing the trend and turning to social networks to help fight crime.

The sheriff's office will be signing up for Facebook and Twitter at the beginning of the new year. It's a method Sheriff PJ Tanner opposed for a very long time, but now, thanks to a software named Nixle, they can now easily update the pages and engage the public.

"This is the future," Tanner sad. "This software package is the future."

Nixle is used by many other law enforcement agencies throughout the country, including South Carolina Highway Patrol. It's a notification platform used to connect police and residents for "limited engagement" through text messages, emails and phone calls.

The best part about the $20,000 software, according to Tanner, is it gives the department better control over their social media pages.

"Even though it's reality in today's time, it's a communication network is what it is, but it's not controlled," Tanner said. "I'm not against it [social media], but I don't think it's best for us. This [Nixle] is the most innovative approach to public safety information sharing that's out there."

Tanner said the response on Beaufort Police's social media pages is part of the reason he added Facebook and Twitter to their Nixle software.

Bluffton police said the same thing.

"Beaufort City is doing great with this. It's helping them out with leads in investigations," said Scott Chandler of the Bluffton Police Department. "We had to jump on board with this, technology's here, and we gotta get on board."

The sheriff's office will be joing the social media stratosphere very soon, and so will the Beaufort Co. Emergency Management Department, which is now under the sheriff's office.

"We'll be so transparent here in what we do," said Tanner.

The office is paying for the Nixle software with a grant given to them from the Bureau of Justice Department, according to Tanner.  Sheriff's office spokesperson, Robin McIntosch will oversee the system.

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow