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Rhode Island Police Using Social Media in Investigations, Public Outreach

Coventry police Chief Col. John MacDonald says Facebook has replaced the traditional neighborhood watch

NBC Bay Area

Police in Rhode Island are embracing social media as an effective tool to help solve their investigations and connect with residents.

Coventry police Chief Col. John MacDonald tells The Providence Journal that Facebook has replaced the traditional neighborhood watch. Police can post photos of a shoplifting suspect or a vehicle used in a crime to receive tips.

Woonsocket Detective Jamie Martin says an operation in which police have used fake Facebook profiles to monitor underage teens receiving sexually explicit messages from men has led to 17 arrests.

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The Rhode Island State Police is partnering with the state Department of Transportation's Office of Highway Safety this month to raise public awareness of impaired driving. The agency plans to share videos of the outcomes of car accidents under the hashtag #BeyondTheCrash.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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