Connecting for Crime





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Published on Feb 21, 2011

Philadelphia Police Use Social Media To Solve Crimes
February 17, 2011 11:34 PM

Reporting Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Never before have people been able to connect to the police department like they can now.

People are connecting through the department's web site, Twitter or Facebook accounts and sending in tips.

An unidentified gunman who robbed a store in December might have easily gotten away with it, but police posted the video on YouTube and got a tip.

Now they have a name.

The suspect has been identified as 39-year-old Jeffery Bellamy. (see related story)

"Detectives worked the lead, now we have an active arrest warrant out for him," Sgt. Ray Evers said.

It doesn't end there.

Another tip through the department's Facebook page indicated Bellamy was seen at a Wawa in the city. Police now like their chances he'll be arrested soon.

"People are on the web on their phones so why don't we use that. Everyone has web capability on their phones." Evers said.

It is a new age in crime fighting.

Since kids are using social media to organize flash mobs, the police department is designing a Facebook page geared towards teens.

"So, say something happens at 32nd and Tasker, we could Facebook kids who go to Vare High School, it's in the area, so kids may know what's going on," Evers said.

The new digital direction of the department isn't just about providing tips. People can also file complaints about police officers online.

"Maybe you feel intimidated already by the officer you have a complaint with," Officer Tanya Little said.

Complaints filed through the department's website are being sent to Internal Affairs.

The Police Department will unveil its own top 10 list of suspects caught on camera, but not caught by police.

Stay up to date with the Philadelphia Police Department on the social media websites YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Reported by Todd Quinones, CBS 3

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