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Ceres PD opens facebook account
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The Ceres Police Department recently created a Facebook account as part of a continuing effort to provide members of the public with information pertaining to public safety.

Ours is but a small start into the realm of social media, as it takes personnel resources -employees who have the requisite knowledge about the various social media, the technological know-how, the public safety knowledge and the time to put this knowledge to use. We do not have the resources or budget at this time to turn this into a full-time enterprise, such as assigning a full-time public information officer. We do, however, see this program expanding and becoming more useful over the course of time.

Many public entities throughout the country are using social media to communicate with the public. It is a good way to share safety tips, distribute news releases, and keep the public informed of what is going on in their community. With so many people on Facebook, it only makes sense that our department makes itself more accessible through social media.

The most obvious and immediate benefits of using social media for public information services are related to traffic jams, detours, collisions, fires and the various other emergency events and catastrophes. Our agency recently used the department Facebook page to ask for the public's help in identifying bank robbery suspects. Upcoming events, such as the recent blood drive, are being posted so our citizens can know what is going on in their communities. There is also a link to "submit a tip" for those wishing to submit anonymous crime tips.

While there are many good reasons for local law enforcement agencies to employ the use of social media, they are not suitable for reporting crime, especially where there are emergency situations. It is critical that any reports of crimes, medical emergencies or any other circumstance requiring a public safety response or investigation that the appropriate dispatch center be contacted.

Our department is pleased with the feedback received so far and is looking forward to interacting with members of the Ceres community through Facebook. The web address for the Ceres Police Department Facebook page is:!/. "Like" us!